Grant Llewellyn / BBC Symphony Orchestra

Lowell Liebermann: Revelry

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Lowell Liebermann's brand of post-modern music is difficult to pin down to any particular style or idiom because his references and influences are so thoroughly internalized and integrated that separating them for the sake of analysis or even description is futile. Indeed, there are so many hints of post-romantic and modernist orchestral music at play in his imagination -- from Prokofiev and Stravinsky to Bartók, Shostakovich, Copland, and Britten, to name only a few -- detecting the direct sources of inspiration for the Concerto for Orchestra, the Variations on a Theme by Mozart, the Nocturne, and Revelry seems a fool's errand, and considerably less important than recognizing Liebermann's virtuosic skills in writing for orchestra and aptitude for making cogent statements in large forms. The performances by Grant Llewellyn and the BBC Symphony Orchestra eloquently make the case for Liebermann's instrumental writing, and the transparency of their textures and clarity of their colors show his imaginative combinations to best advantage. The sound quality of these performances is good, if slightly variable in presence and lacking dimensions, and the limitations of the CD suggest that Liebermann's music would sound much better in the super audio format.

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