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Peter Schickele's clear, folk-influenced style also fits well with the album's mood. His many and sometimes hilarious PDQ Bach albums have hurt his chances to be taken seriously, but the Trio Serenade, in five brief movements, appears here in another of an increasingly long list of recordings of Schickele's delightful chamber works. This unusual-meter excerpt from II demonstrates that he doesn't have to be channeling PDQ to deserve a hearing [listen -- track 8, 0:00-0:53]. After V introduces lively new material, Schickele concludes with a cyclic return to the Serenade's gentle opening theme.

Steven Van Wye wrote Dos Arbolitos for these performers. It is the first work on the program and not the best choice. While it is even more avian-like than Lovebirds, its insistent repetition of the rhythm of a short, rising melodic phrase becomes annoying rather than the perhaps intended energetic. I hate it when irrationally chirpy birds wake me early in the morning.

Caeser Giovannini's tender Theme for a Quiet Day is a lovely piece. If birds are again suggested, it is through an image of airy feathers wafting down to flowering bushes below a tree filled with drowsing robins and sparrows. Giovannini has defined a quiet day.

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Copyright © 1 August 2007 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


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