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Concerto for Cathy was written in 2001 and is Farberman's second concerto for oboe. The three movements have titles that are programatically related to the life of the dedicatee/soloist (Cathy Gerardi): At work in the office, Lucinda's ring: the search, and At home; creating. Although the movements are thus inspired by things very specific to the soloist, the work itself is a colorful work of general appeal. The three movements are all mercurial in character, contrasting song-like material with more actively colored passagework [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:30].

Early Hudson Valley Scenes was written in 2003 and is scored for the same combination of two pianos and two percussionists as Bartók's famous sonata. The four pictoral movements of Farberman's work are inspired by the history of the Hudson River Valley in New York State, where Farberman lives. Again, as in the previous works, the variety of color (even with a limited number of instruments) is extremely attractive. Depicting everything from local legends, to a child's first attempt at iceskating, to woodpeckers, Farberman gets the very most out of the four players in this work [listen -- track 7, 3:00-3:50].

The only non-recent work on the disc is the Double Concerto for Single Trumpet (or Two Trumpets) which dates from 1956 and was composed for the Boston Pops Orchestra and their then conductor Arthur Fiedler. It is Farberman's only composition in the 'pops' vein and is a jazzy excursion. Although the work presents less of a personal musical profile than the other compositions on the disc, it is still enjoyable.

The performances, all directed by the composer, are strong and authoritative. There are some sonic inconsistencies in the disc, mostly in places where background noise (presumably from different sessions) is not matched consistently. However, this does not mar the overall effect of the recording.

If you are unfamiliar with Farberman's music, this disc is absolutely the place to start. Farberman's percussion-heavy orchestral sound world is an immensely enjoyable one. Warmly recommended.

Copyright © 2 February 2005 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


The Music of Harold Farberman Vol 3

TROY688 Stereo NEW RELEASE 69'16" 2004 Albany Records

Jesse Berger, shofar; Gila Harel, klezmer clarinet; Anna Elashvil, violin; Sofia Symphony Orchestra; Jonathan Haas, timpani; Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra; Cathy Gerardi, oboe; Todd Crow, piano; John Van Buskir, piano; Matthew Beaumont, percussion; Rumen Gurov, trumpet; Harold Farberman, conductor

Harold Farberman (born 1929): Re/Collections (2004); Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra (1960 rev 2002); Concerto for Cathy (2001); Early Hudson Valley Scenes (2003); Double Concerto for Single Trumpet (1956)



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