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A great starting point

Land's End Chamber Ensemble's first CD -
reviewed by

'... first-rate performances and excellent production.'

Land's End Chamber Ensemble - Four Degrees of Freedom. © 2004 Land's End Chamber Ensemble

Land's End Chamber Ensemble is a Canadian group specialising in music of the last century or so, with a particular emphasis on local composers. The ensemble comprises violin, cello, two pianists and a percussionist. This combination opens a substantial range of music to them, but they have added a viola for this recording for even wider choice.

The core group plays the first three items, Antheil's second violin sonata, three preludes for piano by Gordon Rumson, and Takemitsu's piano trio, Between Tides.

One of Takemitsu's last completed compositions, Between Tides is a mellifluous, elegiac piece, expressing Japanese sensibilities through a Western musical language [listen -- track 2, 0:00-1:19]. The performance here is lushly beautiful even if it sometimes lacks a clear sense of direction.

Gordon Rumson is a Canadian composer. His Three Preludes for Piano are exercises in contrast. The third (and most interesting), 'in modo ironico' [listen -- track 5, 0:00-1:13], has affinities with both the Milhaud and Antheil pieces: someone in the group obviously likes their energy and mordant wit.

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Copyright © 10 November 2004 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia


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