Riegger, Avshalomov & Cazden: Orchestral Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL117     Release Date: 2010-04-01
In December, 1953, Wallingford Riegger completed a “Suite for Younger Orchestras,” Opus 56, which was commissioned by and dedicated to the Dalton School in New York. The composer writes: “When I wrote these little pieces my objectives were that they should be melodious, short, varied, and above all, not too difficult for the players of the average school orchestra. Furthermore, they were written in such a way as to make it possible to perform them with any instrumental combination available.” The fourth of the Suite’s live movements, a Lullaby, was later expanded by the composer in a version for strings as his Opus 56a and renamed “Romanza” because the new version “would seem to hint at something other than childlike innocence.”

Dating from about the same time as the “Suite for Younger Orchestras” Riegger’s “Dance Rhythms” would seem to be a backward glance at the music he wrote for the dance groups with which he was associated in the ’30’s. After a 1955 performance in Cincinnati Eleanor Bell wrote in the Cincinnati Post: “As in nearly all of Mr. Riegger’s works, there was a likable rough-and-readiness about the harmonic structure, and his rhythms had a distinctive flavor about them . . . Here the composer showed himself to be a gentleman of polish and style as well as agility in matters of instrumentation.”

Like the other two works by Riegger included on this disc the “Music for Orchestra,” Opus 50 (published in 1953) is a brief and stimulating work with imaginative flashes of color and rhythm.

The Three Ballads from the Catskills for small orchestra was completed in 1949 and scored originally for symphonic band. It was performed in 1948 at the Folk Festival of the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York; in 1950 by the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra at Ann Arbor; and in 1952 by the Springfield (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra. The scoring for small orchestra calls for flute, oboe, two clarinets, bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, two trombones, tympani and strings.

Each of the three movements is based on a specific ballad tune and has a solo instrument:
I. The Lass of Glenshee (viola solo).
II. The Dens of Yarrow (cello solo).
III. The Old Spotted Cow (violin solo).

“The Taking of T’ung Kuan” was composed in 1943, revised in 1947, and again revised in 1953. The title refers to the fall of T’ung Kuan Pass in 755 A.D., the year of the An-lu-shan Rebellion in China. The pass was vital to the defense of the ancient capital, Chang-an, where the court of the emperor Hsuan Tsung was located. During this period of the dawn of medieval European civilization, China had reached the noontide of her ripe culture; literature was the most highly developed of her arts and Li-Po her most respected poet. It was these lines from a poem by Li-Po which inspired Avshalomov:
“came the barbarian horde with the autumn;
out went the army of the House of Han ...”
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.
***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Riegger, Avshalomov & Cazden: Orchestral Works

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

Track Listing

Romanza
Wallingford Riegger
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Dance Rhythms
Wallingford Riegger
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Music for Orchestra
Wallingford Riegger
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The Taking of T'ung Kuan
Jacob Avshalomov
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Three Ballads from the Catskills: I. The Lass of Glenshee
Norman Cazden
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Three Ballads from the Catskills: II. The Dens of Yarrow
Norman Cazden
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Three Ballads from the Catskills: III. The Old Spotted Cow
Norman Cazden
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