Bringing together classic works by five American composers, this collection by Jean-François Heisser and the Orchestre Poitou-Charentes offers a fairly balanced mix of intensely lyrical and rhythmically active pieces that aren't usually programmed together, and rarely by European orchestras. The opening work, Leonard Bernstein's neo-classical Serenade after Plato's Symposium, integrates both the song impulse and the dance, and sets the tone for the program. This is a fine vehicle for violinist Tai Murray, and her exquisite playing gives the music focus and a dramatic center, especially in the serene moments. Samuel Barber's famous Adagio for strings continues the reflective tone of the Serenade, which is revisited at the end of the program in Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question, the most mysterious and elegiac work on the disc. Yet the Serenade's vitality and energy are carried over into the violently rhythmic suite from Bernard Herrmann's score for Psycho and in George Gershwin's jazzy Three Preludes for piano, which Heisser performs unaccompanied. While these pieces are well-known to audiences in the United States, one supposes they are infrequent on French recordings, and this Mirare release shows that they have at least found a foothold with these gifted musicians.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion (after Plato's Symposium)|
|Psycho Suite for Strings|
|Three Preludes for piano|