Music of George Barati
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR794     Release Date: 1999-01-01
Bernard Michelin, violoncello; London Philharmonic Orchestra; George Barati, Conductor; Baroque Chamber Players of Indiana: (Wallace W. Hornibrook, harpsichord; Murray Grodner, bass; Jerry E. Sirucek, oboe; Jerry E. Sirucek, English horn; James J. Pellerite, flute); Sol Schoenbach, bassoon; Anthony M. Gigliotti, clarinet; Marcel Tabuteau, oboe; William M. Kincaid, flute; Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor

Born in Gyór in northwestern Hungary on April 3, 1913, George Barati arrived in the New World virtually a full-blown musician, though only 25 years old. A musical prodigy and brilliant cellist, he had studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest from 1932, where his teachers had included Kodä”ly and Leo Weiner. He had also played in orchestras there, including the Budapest Symphony and Opera Orchestra, where from 1936 to 1938 he was principal cellist. America brought a whole new set of challenges. Barati arrived in New Jersey as founder and cellist in the Pro Ideale String Quartet with the assignment to create a string department at Westminster Choir College and to study at Princeton University. He became a citizen in 1944, just in time for military service, during which he led the Alexandria (Louisiana) Military Symphony (1944–-46). After the war he moved to the West Coast, where he played cello in the San Francisco Symphony under Pierre Monteux. While Schoenberg and Stravinsky lorded over musical life in Los Angeles, Barati became a key figure in the Bay Area'’s more amiable scene.

As a composer he responded to influences around him - —Bartók’'s rhythms, Schoenberg’'s 12-tone method, Stravinsky’'s neoclassicism, and the challenges of the ‘60's avant-garde— but was not a partisan of any school— yet his music reveals indelible traces of an American identity. Further, in addition to idioms from his native Hungary, his works manifest an interest in the music of the Pacific Islands, the impact of the 18 years he spent in Hawaii. “I was influenced not so much by ‘Hawaiian’ music,” he wrote, “as by the climate of Polynesian attitudes and of Oriental awareness far removed from any previous experiences.”

Filled with explosive rhythms and bold harmonic excursions, Barati’'s music continually holds the attention. It is not always easy —and he never made excuses for this. “"Any piece of music must include complexity and mystery",” he said, "“for further revelations upon re-experiencing."” Having traveled much, Barati characterized his outlook as multicultural, one marked by a “highly personal style which allows influences from Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Bartók — all the way to jazz and Schoenberg —to blend naturally with sounds beyond the Pacific Ocean.”

The present disc includes three of Barati’'s most compelling works: the Cello Concerto from his early years in Hawaii, the Chamber Concerto written in Berkeley shortly before his departure for the Pacific, and the densely modernist Harpsichord Quartet from 1964. Together they manifest the chief elements of Barati’'s music that were astutely noted by the critic and annotator David Hall: "“immense rhythmic tension and vitality, a telling sense of instrumental and harmonic coloration, and a flair for taut modern-classic structuring in both overall conception and details of phrasing and rhythmic pattern.” "


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).

Various Artists

Music of George Barati

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Concerto for Violoncello & Orchestra: I. Andante espansivo
George Barati
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Concerto for Violoncello & Orchestra: II. Scherzando (Insouciantly)
George Barati
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Concerto for Violoncello & Orchestra: III. Adagio - Allegro non troppo e grazioso
George Barati
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Harpsichord Quartet: I. Andante scherzando
George Barati
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Harpsichord Quartet: II. Adagio
George Barati
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Harpsichord Quartet: III. Allegretto ritmico
George Barati
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Chamber Concerto: I. Energico, non troppo allegro
George Barati
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Chamber Concerto: II. Andante tranquillo
George Barati
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Chamber Concerto: III. Allegretto e grotesco & IV. Allegro pressando
George Barati
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