Berlinski, Gerschefski, Ballou: Orchestral Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL115     Release Date: 2010-04-01
Herman Berlinski’s preoccupation with the Bible is apparent throughout the Symphonic Visions for Orchestra. Each section of the score is preceded with an apposite passage from the Bible. The first movement, Sinfonia No. I, is characterized by crushing strokes from the full orchestra, relating to the quotation: “They crush Thy people, O Lord ...” Sinfonia No. II limits its orchestral resources to strings, woodwinds (generally solo) and timpani. The opening mood is evocative of desolation, following the words: “I beheld the earth, and, lo it was waste and void Sinfonia No. III emphasizes the turbulent implications of a passage from Jeremiah: “We have heard a voice . . . of fear, and not of peace.” Its thematic material is announced by a trumpet fanfare and, subsequently, solo tuba. Sinfonia No. IV is more peaceful in nature, as befits the words: “For lo the winter is past/ The rain is over and gone/ The flower appears on the earth . . . ” Opening portions are scored lightly, with strings predominating; gradually, the movement works up to a climax for full orchestra.

The Saugatuck Suite by Edwin Gerschefski has undergone a number of transformations since it was first performed in London as a set of preludes for piano. The orchestral version (under the title “Save the Saugatuck” Symphony) was subsequently played over the CBS network by Howard Barlow. A band arrangement of the last Prelude won the 1939 New York World’s Fair band music competition and later was named Guadalcanal Fantasy by the Marine Corps and featured over two networks on the U.S. Marine Corps’ birthday celebration.

Esther Williamson Ballou's Prelude And Allegro, rather than beginning with its solo instrument, opens with an extended introductory statement, contrapuntal in nature, for strings alone. The style is diatonic, with touches of passing dissonance. At a mid-point in the Prelude, the solo piano enters with a chordal melody, unaccompanied by the strings. After a brief extension of this section into a triplet figuration, the strings enter antiphonally once more. A brief cadenza-like passage for piano leads directly to the Allegro.

In this movement, the character of the music becomes more angular and spirited. The piano at first continues to play antiphonally. Then, joining forces with the orchestra, it assumes a concertante character, opposing quick, running passages to the more fluid accompaniment of the strings. Throughout the Allegro, the rhythms are maintained in their mood of light- heartedness. At its end, while the strings restate the movement’s opening material, the piano ornaments the texture with octave and trill passages. These continue to the end.

[Adapted from the original LP liner notes by Lester Trimble]

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

The Vienna Orchestra

Berlinski, Gerschefski, Ballou: Orchestral Works

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included.


Track Listing

Symphonic Visions for Orchestra: Sinfonia No. I Andante molto pesante
Herman Berlinski
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Symphonic Visions for Orchestra: Sinfonia No. II Adagio molto espressivo
Herman Berlinski
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Symphonic Visions for Orchestra: Sinfonia No. III Tempo di marcia
Herman Berlinski
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Symphonic Visions for Orchestra: Sinfonia No. IV Adagio molto sostenuto
Herman Berlinski
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Saugatuck Suite: I. Lento
Edwin Gerschefski
Buy
Saugatuck Suite: II. Animato
Edwin Gerschefski
Buy
Saugatuck Suite: III. Andante
Edwin Gerschefski
Buy
Saugatuck Suite: IV. Allegro
Edwin Gerschefski
Buy
Prelude and Allegro
Esther Williamson Ballou
Buy

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