George Perle; Leslie Bassett: Chamber Works

Beaux-Arts String Quartet: Gerald Tarack, violin; Alan Martin, violin; Jorge Mester, viola; Jules Eskin, cello; Walter Trampler, viola; Charles Russo, clarinet; Douglas Nordli, piano


George Perle's String Quintet, Opus 35 is scored for two violins, two violas, and cello. Completed in February 1958, the music bears the inscription: In memory of Laura Slobe. The tempi of the four movements are indicated by metronome markings.

The Quintet is a tonal composition, large in scale and rhapsodic in nature. Its seeming complexity need trouble no listener for long, for here is tunefulness, motivic development, effective repetitions, and phrase lengths similar to those of the romantic period. A sophisticated listener will also find a challenge in this music: one motive may generate or bear a family likeness to another, while still others are mentioned in passing only, and later assume an important role.

Leslie Bassett's Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano was composed in 1953. The four movements are: I Adagio; II Allegretto, ma bene marcato; III Adagio, ma non troppo; IV Allegro Moderato.

The Trio is a tonal work with chromatic texture and clearly defined key centers. While rhythms and syncopations predominate, its basic elegance and polish are never obscured. Contrapuntal techniques largely account for the smoothness of line, deceptive in its simplicity. Though in his total output, the Trio actually marked a shift in emphasis from contrapuntal writing to chordal structures.

The composer suggests that the proximity of a colleague's viola studio increased his interest in this instrument; and that further attraction to the possibilities of the combination (clarinet, viola and piano) came from hearing Mozart's masterpiece, the Trio in E-flat, K. 496, and Brahms' Sonatas for Viola (or clarinet) and Piano.


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 previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

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Various Artists

George Perle; Leslie Bassett: Chamber Works

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WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

String Quintet, Op. 35: I.
George Perle
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String Quintet, Op. 35: II.
George Perle
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String Quintet, Op. 35: III.
George Perle
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String Quintet, Op. 35: IV.
George Perle
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Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano: I. Adagio
Leslie Bassett
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Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano: II. Allegretto, ma ben marcato
Leslie Bassett
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Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano: III. Adagio, ma non troppo
Leslie Bassett
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Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano: IV. Allegro moderato
Leslie Bassett
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