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A Quiet Life (2002) for string orchestra is pastoral. As the booklet notes state, it falls into the great English tradition of string orchestra works such as Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis [listen -- track 3, 0:55-1:43].

Wolfgang Rihm is represented by two works. One is his recent (2002) alto trombone concerto -- bearing the extended title of Canzona per Sonare 'Über die Linie' V. The other is an early work -- Cuts and Dissolves, Orchesterskizzen (1976-77).

The concerto is the best work on the disc -- a wonderful travelogue for alto trombone, 'wandering' among two instrumental groups drawn from the orchestra. The work connects to the great Germanic symphonic tradition, but is uniquely Rihm's own. It has some elements in common with Luciano Berio's remarkable trombone concerto SOLO (1999). Michael Svoboda displays an absolutely stunning virtuoso performance in the solo part [listen -- track 4, 0:01-1:59].

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Copyright © 25 January 2006 Carson P Cooman, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


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