Balazs & Mourant: Orchestral Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL157     Release Date: 2010-05-01

Philharmonia Hungarica; Frederic Balazs, conductor; Paul Pázmándy, flute
Salvador "Tutti" Camarata and his Orchestra

"The value of art is in strict relation to how much the doer has to explain about it!" These words of Frederic Balazs may indicate a common occupational reticence of many composers to communicate in other than musical terms, but they also do a fair share to tell us, if only in epigrammatic form, something about the nature of his works. There is a directness about the Two Dances After David, and it is clearly the intent of their composer to convince the ear and charm the senses, leaving any question-and-answer game to those who relish playing it. This is as it should be in dance music of any sort, from Schubert ländler through the Stravinsky Circus Polka.

The exoticism and almost eastern cast of the solo flute writing reflect Mr. Balazs’ Hungarian origin, but the wide and open vertical sonorities produced by the string-choir could only occur in a vocabulary conversant with the American musical syntax of the nineteen-forties. Strength of orchestral technique produces an over-all effect of unity-in-diversity. Several references to Gregorian Chant weave in and out of the music and, strangely enough, only add to the initial effect of sensuous evocation. The first dance is an extended three-part song form with introduction and coda. A lively and completely beguiling second dance, in triple metre, prestissimo, rounds out the work with fire and spirit.


Walter Mourant was horn in Chicago in 1910; his musical career began in a high school dance band after a brief and arid spate of piano lessons with an "almost deaf piano teacher." Later, he entered the "show business" field of broadcasting in New York. Here, largely under the watchful eye of the late Mark Warnow, he pursued such assignments as the setting of the Preamble to the Constitution for chorus and orchestra and several "concert jazz" pieces for the Mildred Bailey show. His academic training began in 1931 at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson and received the Master of Music degree. A few years at the Juilliard School on a graduate fellowship, working with Bernard Wagenaar, marked the completion of his formal training. His early affinity for the dance-band field led him to concentrate on arrangements during his first years in New York. He has made no effort to eliminate the dichotomy between his dance-band style (frankly influenced by Duke Ellington) and his more "serious" style.

 

This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish vinyl-only back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc. Please refer to the liner notes for information about the program.

Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 per disc and may be ineligible for special offer pricing.

Philharmonia Hungarica

Balazs & Mourant: Orchestral Works

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Two Dances for Flute and Orchestra: Dance 1
Frederic Balazs
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Two Dances for Flute and Orchestra: Dance 2
Frederic Balazs
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Valley of the Moon
Walter Mourant
Buy
Air and Scherzo: Air
Walter Mourant
Buy
Air and Scherzo: Scherzo
Walter Mourant
Buy
Sleepy Hollow Suite: Air
Walter Mourant
Buy
Sleepy Hollow Suite: Vespers
Walter Mourant
Buy
Sleepy Hollow Suite: Dance
Walter Mourant
Buy

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