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Monday, June 06, 2005
Musical Miscellany
16 Portraits- Music of Michel-Georges Bregent
Michel-Georges Bregent
Christina Quilco, Piano
CMCCD 10805 WRC8-7857

In addition to being a prolific composer, Canadian composer Michel-Georges Bregent (1948-1993) was also gifted as a performer and writer of rock music. His 16 Portraits are intensely romantic pieces. In his notes from the manuscript score Bregent says ď I am a Romantic. These 16 Portraits for piano draw or depict states of being, illustrate social situations, professions and occupations. They are a logical continuation of the repertoire of the transcendental etudes of Liszt and Liapunov. the etudes of Chopin, Scriabin and the etudes-tableaux of Rachmaninoff.Ē Performed here with great sensitivity by his former wife, the 16 Portraits are a welcome addition to the repertoire. While they clearly owe a debt to Rachmaninoff, Bregent was an original voice who died too young.

Chemin de la Croix op. 29, Gregorian Chants
Marcel Dupre
Friedhelm Flamme, Organist
Gregorianik-Schola Marienmunster
CPO777 128-2

A very somber experience indeed. I attended an organ recital by the blind Dupre many years ago, and though I couldnít help but be impressed by his prowess and improvisational skills (he improvised an elaborate fugue on notes given him by the audience), the overall experience was very ponderous. This CD did not change that earlier impression. Iím afraid pipe organ recitals fail to attract many people, and Iíve heard the best. The organist here is certainly competent, but the sonic experience is what you would expect- heavy to a fault, like a behemoth crashing through a dense forest. If you are a devotee of 19th century organ music, this is your cup of tea. Otherwise, skip it. Oh,yes, the sung plainsong is very lovely.

The Adventures of Mark Twain- The 1944 Score by Max Steiner
Max Steiner
Moscow Symphony and Chorus
NAXOS 6.110087

All of us have heard the movie music of Max Steiner. This isnít his most impressive score, but itís entertaining and parallels the screen action very well indeed. As for standing alone, thatís another story. I would suppose that few film scores can do that. Leonard Bernsteinís "On the Waterfront", Bernard Hermannís "Vertigo", and Coplandís "Our Town" come to mind. Still. if you saw the movie, itís fun to hear the music again--once.

 



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