Joie de Vivre! (2009)

Joie de Vivre!

Available at CD Baby

click title to hear excerpt
01 Escualo
02 Danses Ravissants
03 Trio For Flute, Oboe, Piano I.
04 Trio For Flute, Oboe, Piano: II. Adagio
05 Trio For Flute, Oboe, Piano: III. Allegro
06 Trio For Flute, Oboe, Piano: IV. Allegro Molto
07 Andante Fur Horn Und Klavier
08 Oboe Machinations: I. Echoes
09 Oboe Machinations: II. Ploys
10 Viola Zombie For Two Violas
11 Romans Des Rois: I. Rites
12 Romans Des Rois: II. Reves
13 Romans Des Rois: III. Rondes


“Based in northeast Ohio, Panoramicos is a chamber ensemble that presents works with unusual and constantly varied instrumentation.  Its first recording was a knockout; here are two more, with content that could hardly be more contrasting. Joie de Vivre! opens with a vibrant account of Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Escualo’ ( Shark) arranged by Paul Ferguson for solo viola, cello, double bass, and piano.  Sound is rich and resonant, and the terrific playing by the Cleveland Orchestra’s Lynne Ramsey makes me wonder why there are viola jokes.  I especially enjoy the sly portamentos tossed in here and there. Danses Ravissants is scored for flute, oboe, viola, and harp.  It’s remarkable how similar the three non-harp instruments sound, all playing in the same register  of the time.  With its piquant contrasts of tonality and dissonance, warmth and whimsy, propulsion and thoughtfulness, the 13-minute work constatntly shifts gears, gives each individual player many opportunitites in the spotlight, and places each in an ever-changing array of instrumental combinations.  The big piece on this program is Griebling-Haigh’s three movement, 22-minute Romans des Rois, for oboe, horn , and piano.  ‘Rites ‘ opens with distinctly Stravinskian flavors-sharply struck piano chords and pungent dissonances between the wind instruments-a brief passage that becomes a sort of home base when it returns between longer sections of varied character.  A quiet ‘Reves’ allows oboist Sundet to show beautifully supple tone, Cleveland Orchestra horn player Richard King to play lyrically, and Pianist Randalll Fusco ends the movement with a thoughtful question. ..Flutist Ferguson and oboist Sndet team with pianist Fusco in a winsome Trio by Gordon Jacob.  I especially enjoy the lovely opening solos in a wistful II mvmt, Robinson’s piccolo playing in a wacky III mvmt.  Sundet is joined by oboist Thom Moore and pianist Fusco in Oboe Machinations by Kent State Universtiy composer Thomas Janson.   I’m not sure what I expected to hear in Michael Daugherty’s Viola Zombie, but it wasn’t the spooky theme from the Twighlight Zone.  Cleveland Institute Jeffrey Irvine joins Ramsey in this clever piece.”

“a knockout . . . sound is rich and resonant . . . terrific playing…achingly beautiful.”— Barry Kilpatrick, American Record Guide

“The chamber ensemble of wizardly Cleveland musicians reflects the disc’s giddy title in a program of infectious, colorful works, including several by local composers. Poetic urgency and insouciance abound in two scores by Margi Griebling-Haigh. In Thomas Janson’s “Oboe Machinations,” oboe, English horn and piano engage in intriguing banter, while eerie things occur in Michael Daugherty’s “Viola Zombies for Two Violas.” Music by Astor Piazzolla, Gordon Jacob and Richard Strauss round out the enchanting menu. Grade: A”
— Donald Rosenburg, Cleveland Plain Dealer