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String Poetic


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1. String Poetic: no 1, Jagged Climb - Lou Harrison / Jennifer Higdon
2. String Poetic: no 2, Nocturne - John Adams / Jennifer Higdon
3. String Poetic: no 3, Blue Hills of Mist - Jennifer Higdon / Carl Ruggles
4. String Poetic: no 4, Maze Mechanical - Jennifer Higdon
5. String Poetic: no 5, Climb Jagged - Jennifer Higdon
6. Mood - Carl Ruggles
7. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano: 1st movement, Prelude - Lou Harrison
8. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano: 2nd movement, Stampede - Lou Harrison
9. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano: 3rd movement, A Round 'Annabel & April's' - Lou Harrison
10. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano: 4th movement, Air - Lou Harrison
11. Grand Duo for Violin and Piano: 5th movement, Polka - Lou Harrison
12. Road Movies: no 1, Relaxed Groove - John Adams
13. Road Movies: no 2, Meditative - John Adams
14. Road Movies: no 3, 40% Swing - John Adams

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
JENNIFER KOHs Grammy-Nominated INTRIGUING AMERICAN CLASSICAL MUSIC May 27 2008
By RSProds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Five AMERICAN Stars!! Awesome, intriguing, daring Grammy-nominated violin/piano performances of modern American classical music which creates soundscapes and moods, reflecting sensibilities of Americana. Award-winning virtuoso violinist Jennifer Koh, whose two previous CDs were marvelous, changes direction for these four performances which concentrate on 20th Century American composers, including 2 world premiers: bracing music by tonality-master Lou Harrison and a stirring "String Poetic" by Jennifer Higdon, who wrote it specifically for Ms Koh. And there is challenging, enjoyable music composed by Carl Ruggles, the earliest composer of the group, and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Adams. This CD once again brings to the fore the formidable piano virtuoso Reiko Uchida as a compelling musical duo partner for Ms Koh, forming what I have previously called "the Dynamic Duo".

Ms Higdon's marvelous five-movement "String Poetic", composed in 2006, covers a lot of engaging musical ground in many varied and fascinating forms, sometimes within each movement. The 'best of the best' includes the achingly beautiful "Nocture" and the technically dazzling "Maze Mechanical" with each player's lines diverging and converging. "Jagged Climb" and "Climb Jagged" are very interesting bookends with Ms Koh showing that Ms Higdon really understands the capabilities of her rippling bow work. Carl Ruggles' "Mood", dating back to 1918, is a single movement piece that came to light and form after the composer's passing and is an expressive tone poem in hands of Koh and Uchida, full of urgent beauty and extreme angst. John Adams' "Road Movies", composed in 1995, begins with a "Relaxed Groove" that is restlessly engaging, but the blazing "40% Swing" takes the cake in this piece. The multi-talented Lou Harrison's five movement "Grand Duo", composed in 1988, runs the gamut of emotions and technical musicality where Ms Koh achieves an almost harmonica-like tone in the "Prelude" movement and her masterful bow work on the wild dance of the "Stampede" movement is irresistable, adding to the stark landscape of this wonderful piece. With the "String Poetic" CD, the remarkable Jennifer Koh achieves another high water mark in her career and demonstrates musical ESP with Reiko Uchida that must not be missed by the adventurous classical fan who loves discovering music by prestigious modern-day genius composers. Wonderfully recorded and Highly Recommended!! Five INTRIGUING Stars. (Audio CD, 73:45)
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely American July 14 2008
By Lawrence A. Schenbeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The most fun on this disc is the Jennifer Higdon piece. She writes idiomatically and well for both violin and piano. The piano part utilizes some "new piano" techniques but with focused restraint (i.e., it won't scare any conservative horses out there). Both players offer a performance to die for, and the recording is exquisite. (I would have considered downloading just the Higdon tracks -- since I think I own everything else on this disc already -- but the high quality of the CD sound is unlikely to be matched by any MP3 files, and the juicy timbres are an integral part of experiencing this music.) Expressive, even soulful, and exciting music.

Everything else is good too, although my personal feeling is that the Ruggles and Harrison pieces don't sound as vital now as they did once, and they may not "age well" going further into the 21st century. Nice performances, though, and it is good to have all these works together on a single disc. Strongly recommended.
Gorgeous! April 5 2012
By R. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great "modern" American music for violin and piano. The winner here is the work by Jennifer HIgdon. See the other reviews for details. I just wanted to add my vote for a fine CD. The recording is of demonstration quality, also.


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