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The following year saw the production of a Violin Concerto The Voyager, just as restless and energetic, powerfully recorded by Gregory Fulkerson, whose rich romantic tone and technical assurance are well rewarded by a challenging and highly idiomatic violin part, the whole concerto in a style hard to pin down, though lying somewhere in that accessible ground between Barber, Nielsen and those big scores that he wrote for such films as Hallelujah the Hills and Truman Capote's classic 'Trilogy' [listen -- CD1 track 3, 7:46-8:46]. There is a sustained quality that is Kupferman's own, widely spread and generous, emotionally extrovert and, with familiarity, cleverly made. This Violin Concerto is made succinct by having each movement open with a similar quietly rising phrase, as if waking in the same place to three different tasks.

His third Piano Concerto: Foxfire, from 2002, is the most recent piece here. Kupferman has written more for the piano that any other instrument, and clearly he likes its brittle athletic potential, the jazz rhythms, and the power games that can be created between the soloist and orchestra. The one-movement concerto falls into three parts, in the centre of which a piano cadenza closes with percussion and the beginnings of an impudent fugue [listen -- CD2 track 1, 14:32-15:30]. Paul Freeman conducts the Czech National Symphony in all three works.

There are also two earlier chamber pieces: Sonata Occulta of 1979, played by the same pianist who champions Foxfire, Christopher Vassialiades; and an attractively intimate trio for oboe, violin and guitar called New Space written for the Cygnus Ensemble in 1998. This is a very spirited discovery for those of us who didn't know Kupferman, and one that would make me want to drop in on him and share a whisky if I'm ever in his neighbourhood.

Copyright © 19 October 2003 Patric Standford, Wakefield, UK


Meyer Kupferman Orchestral Music Volume XV

CD 134 DDD Stereo (2 CDs) 71'01"/44'45" - TT 115'46" 2001 Soundspells Productions

Gregory Fulkerson, violin; Paul Freeman, conductor; Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Cygnus Ensemble; Christopher Vassiliades, piano

Violin Concerto: The Voyager (2001); New Space (1998) for oboe, violin and guitar; Quantum Symphony (2000); Third Piano Concerto: Foxfire (2002); Sonata Occulta (1979) for solo piano


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