Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'George Walker: Chamber Music' on Naxos, streaming and download; Notes by composer

[ABOVE: Photo Courtesy of George Walker; BELOW: George Walker: Chamber Music, Son Sonora String Quartet; Angelo Frascarelli, conductor; Naxos 8.559659 (2009) (73:43)]

AfriClassical learned of this release from our friend Sergio Mims, a classical music radio host at WHPK-FM, Chicago. On Thursday, Dec. 10, violinist Gregory Walker, Professor of Music at the University of Colorado Denver, is scheduled to premiere his father George Walker's Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Neemi Järvi.

George Walker: Chamber Music
was recorded by the Son Sonora String Quartet and other musicians under the direction of Angelo Frascarelli, conductor. Naxos 8.559659 (2009) (73:43) has been released via streaming and download only, not on CD. Lyricists: Tr.2, Thomas Stearns Eliot; Tr. 6, Emily Dickinson; Tr. 7, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Tr. 8, Irene Sekula; Tr. 9, William Shakespeare; Tr. 10, Thomas Wyatt. In the left column of the Naxos website announcement of the recording, the words About this Recording are linked to detailed notes on the compositions by the composer.

1. String Quartet No. 2 (21:58)
Poem (15:31)
Lyric for Strings (version for string quartet) (6:21)
4. 5 Fancies (9:26)
Modus (9:06)
I Never Saw a Moor (1:58)
Response (2:25)
Mother Goose (Circa 2054) (1:22)
Take, o take those lips away (2:31)
And Wilt Thou Leave Me Thus (3:05)

About this Recording
George Walker (b. 1922)
Chamber Works

The New York première of my
String Quartet No. 2 in September of 1968 received a glowing review in the New York Times after a performance in Town Hall by the New England Festival String Quartet. A revised version was performed several times by the Son Sonora String Quartet in various cities before this recording was made.

In the first movement, after a brief introduction, an intense, soloistic quality characterizes the instrumental entrances that taper off in unusual cadences. The second movement has scherzo-like material riveted with syncopations. A middle section provides contrast before the return of the initial motive. The third movement contains an abundance of pizzicati, punctuating sustained melodic fragments. The dramatic opening of the fourth movement is followed by a four voice, highly chromatic fugue. A cantabile section recurs before the final fugal entrances lead to the conclusion of the string quartet.” [Full Notes by Composer] [George Walker is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

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