Gutchë/La Montaine
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL189     Release Date: 2010-06-15

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Max Rudolf, Conductor; Karen Keys, piano; Oklahoma City Orchestra; Guy Fraser Harrison, Conductor

Concerning the structure and style of the Fifth Symphony for Strings, Gene Gutché has written as follows:

“Compositionally, the work is based on the time-honored principle of motive-exposition and variation. Structurally, the main weight of the symphony falls in the two outer movements.

“The first movement is almost perpetual motion, based essentially on one sinuous melody and the frenetic triplet rhythm that bursts forth for the first time, though tentatively, in the cellos in the third measure. The rhythmic development of this triplet figure, the ways in which it is pitted against other rhythmic outlines, and the constantly shifting phrase lengths create a tour de force of 460 bars.

“The inner movements, despite their intrinsic interest, act almost as foils for the much more complex and expansive first and last movements. The second movement, Burletta (musical farce), is a 'pizzicato ostinato.' It is relaxed and ever sardonic in humor. The compact slow movement is a distillation of carefully conceived lyricism.

“The Finale is a combination of the powerful rhythmic drive of the first movement with a touch of the jocularity of the Burletta. The main theme, suggested in the third bar after a series of hammering chords, is soon followed by the germ of another motive, and finally, after only nine bars, a hint of the third motive of the movement. With this “thumbnail” exposition of the germ motives of the Finale, the movement plunges headlong, first into their complete exposition and then into a full-scale development of all materials.”

Regarding the musical form and content of John La Montaine's Piano Concerto, the publisher has supplied a succinct and valid summation:

“The Concerto affirms both the lyric and virtuoso capabilities of the piano. The first movement is bold and decisive, classic in form, romantic in content. The second movement . is slow and introspective, rising to an overwhelming climax. It is an elegy in memory of the composer's sister, Isabel La Montaine. The Finale, in quadruple meter, is brilliant, rhythmic and march-like, interrupted twice by an extended songful passage of great intensity in triple meter. All the thematic and passage material of the final movement is derived from the opening of the first movement


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order 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)

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra & Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra

Gutchë/La Montaine

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

Track Listing

Fifth Symphony for Strings: I – Dotted Quarter Note = 96
Gene Gutchë
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Fifth Symphony for Strings: II – Buletta
Gene Gutchë
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Fifth Symphony for Strings: III – Mesto
Gene Gutchë
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Fifth Symphony for Strings: IV – Lesto (agile, nimble, quick)
Gene Gutchë
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Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: I. Moderately fast – decisive
John La Montaine
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Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: II. Elegy; andante
John La Montaine
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Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: III. Finale
John La Montaine
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