Music of Werner Josten & Gail Kubik
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL267     Release Date: 2010-09-15
American Symphony Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, Conductor; Paul Dunkel, flute; Arthur Krilov, oboe; David Shifrin, clarinet; William Scribner, bassoon; H. Rex Cooper, piano; Marie-Thérèse Chailley, viola; Arthur Hanneuse, trumpet; Frank Glazer, piano; French Radio Orchestra; Gail Kubik, Conductor;

The Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitsky conducting, gave Werner Josten's Jungle its premiere performance October 25, 1929. It was presented by the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock, December 12, 1931. In both cities, the reviewers were enthusiastic. Describing the premiere under Koussevitsky as "a brilliant one," Philip Hale of the Boston Herald wrote "From the beginning to the end there is a savagery, a wildness in tones that does not at all depend on laboriously sought out dissonances or ear-splitting tonal explosions. A huge orchestra is employed. Probably the instrument 'the lion's roar' appeared for the first time in the orchestra. But the effectiveness of Mr. Josten's score does not rest on attempts at realism . . . the work gives the impression that the melodic figures, the developments, the harmonic schemes, the contrasts — note the haunting sensuality of the love episode were all conceived as a whole . . . An uncommonly interesting work."

Canzona Seria, subtitled "A Hamlet Monologue," was originally conceived in 1940 for violas, cellos and basses, and was first performed two years later at the University of Rochester, N. Y. In 1957, the work was rewritten for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano, and received its premiere in this form later that year in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, by the Kreiselman Quintet, under the auspices of the National Association for American Composers and Conductors. The New York Times review commented, "So skillful is Mr. Josten's revision that one would have sworn he had conceived the music in the first place with these five instruments in mind. It is a sensitive, imaginative score, and Mr. Josten's color sense enriches his harmonic style as well as his instrumental palate."

The Symphony Concertante displays Gail Kubik's gifts at their most appealing: his colorful imagination in the choice of orchestral sonorities; his characteristic use of jazz rhythms and other popular elements in a style that is gay, full of movement and gesture, and carried off with enormous verve. The result is very American, yet wholly personal, the work of a musician of wit and sophistication.

The first movement is in modified sonata form. It opens with an imperious gesture and builds steadily to the exciting fugato passage that constitutes its climax. Rhythm is the form-building element here: a dynamic rhythm of a ballet-like vividness. The slow movement is, as the composer describes it, "a very long, increasingly dramatic song with a reflective epilogue at the end." Its contemplative lyricism unfolds in flowing lines. The third movement is a rondo that recaptures, in twentieth-century terms, the steady forward impulse of the concerto grosso of Bach's time. 


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

Music of Werner Josten & Gail Kubik

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

Track Listing

Jungle
Werner Josten
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Canzona Seria
Werner Josten
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Symphony Concertante: I. Fast, vigorously
Gail Kubik
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Symphony Concertante: II. Quietly
Gail Kubik
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Symphony Concertante: III. Fast, with energy
Gail Kubik
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