Friday, June 23, 2017

O'Brien, Charles. (1882-1968) Complete Orchestral Works, volume III. First Recordings.

New acquisition.
Bought in May 2017.
First listen: 23-6-2017.
Label: Toccata Classics.
Recording dates: December 2014 and February 2015.
Recording venue: Liepāja Latvian Society House, Liepāja, Latvia.
Recording engineer: Normunds Slava.
Running time: 61:00
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
Ellangowan, Concert overture, opus 10, second version. (1909)
Waltz Suite opus 26. (1928)
Suite Humoristique, opus 8. (1904)

Performed by:
Liepāja SO, Paul Mann.

The third and the last volume in this series with orchestral music by Charles O'Brien. On the whole that was a very worthwhile ride into unknown musical territory. The second version of opus 10 is as good as the first one, be it shorter. As I said in my earlier review of the first version "For starters we get the overture Ellangowan, music with a lot of Scottish folk influences, not of the Scottish granite type, but more the glowing hills and dales, a tad more harmonious as the rugged Scottish mentality". That is also true of the second version. Both are worthwhile to have.
With the Waltz suite we get the lighter side of O'Brien. It is not a very memorable piece of music, but made for the folks in his time that wanted easy to please music. And he gave that to them.
The Suite Humoristique is a far better composition with some nice melodic surprises in it. Still, not the best that he could deliver but very pleasing on the ear. The music has plenty of swagger, but especially in the last two pieces one gets the impression of unripe fruit.  Light music in the literal sense of the word, charmingly played, and decently recorded.



Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750) The Complete Organ Works. Hanssler Edition. (CD 4)

After listening to the fourth disc in this series on which Andrea Macon plays early works by Bach I decided to stop wasting my time with him...