New Hampshire Reformer - Keene, N.H.
Palisades Virtuosi -- On the Albany label from Troy, N.Y. comes "New American Master, Volume 1," featuring the Palisades Virtuosi.
This trio consists of Margaret Winchoksi (flute), Donald Mokrynski (clarinet) and Ron Levy (piano), who got together to play and promote music for their three instruments.
Several composers were commissioned to write pieces for the Virtuosi, and this CD holds works by seven of them, all composed in 2003 and 2004.
Aaron Grad's "Lep*i*dop*ter*ol*o*gy" (as he chooses to spell it) is based on the fluttering of butterflies. (It makes me think of the "Queen Mab Scherzo" in Berlioz's "Romeo et Juliette"). "Three Scenes from the Mountains" by Robert Manno contains three short tone poems based on scenes in nature; and Trio by Dan Cooper also has three, two about the musical stage and one about a bit of physics.
Richard Lane's Trio #2 is in two parts, and Paul Mack Somers' "An Arch of Miniatures" is in five. A haunting "Variations on an Appalachian Carol" by Godfrey Schroth uses the lovely "I wonder as I wander" as its source; while John Lampkin's "George Washington Slept Here" consists of variations on the 250-year old "Soldier's Joy."
People who admire novelty with talent in music will grab this collection up straight away. I am happy to report that none of this is the "new music" of some decades ago that grates upon the ears and the nerves. The program notes give good information about the players, the composers, and the pieces.
Frank Behrens reports on classical and Broadway music as well as recordings of books and plays for the Arts & Entertainment section.