Richard Locker, Sarah Davis Buechner, Martha Locker & Susan Walters | Masterpieces in Transcription

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Masterpieces in Transcription

by Richard Locker, Sarah Davis Buechner, Martha Locker & Susan Walters

Praised by the New York Times as "an artist who expresses ideas with emotion," New York's eloquent cellist Richard Locker follows his best selling "Jewish Cello Masterpieces" CD by turning his attention to the intriguing world of transcriptions.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. César Franck-Sonata in A - Allegro ben moderato (1st mvt.)
Richard Locker with Sara Davis Buechner
5:27 album only
2. Allegro (2nd mvt. )
Richard Locker with Sara Davis Buechner
7:01 album only
3. Recitativo-Fantasia (3rd mvt.)
Richard Locker with Sara Davis Buechner
6:50 album only
4. Allegretto poco mosso (4th mvt.)
Richard Locker with Sara Davis Buechner
6:06 album only
5. Entr'acte Symphonique pour M. Leopold Auer from The Sleeping Beauty - P.I. Tchaikovsky
Richard Locker with Sara Davis Buechner
5:33 album only
6. Pas d' action from Swan Lake - P.I. Tchaikovsky
Richard Locker with Susan Walters
6:28 album only
7. Rondo in C, K.373 - W.A. Mozart
Richard Locker with Martha Locker
5:17 album only
8. Caprice Op. 1 No. 13 - Nicolo Paganini
Richard Locker
3:16 album only
9. N'Kadesh - Yosef "Yossele" Rosenblatt
Richard Locker
2:36 album only
10. Mim Kom'Cho - Yosef "Yossele" Rosenblatt
Richard Locker
3:48 album only
11. Mi Sheberach - Yosef "Yossele" Rosenblatt
Richard Locker
3:55 album only
12. Hebräisch - George Perlman
Richard Locker with Martha Locker
4:21 album only
13. Hebrew Chant and Dance - George Perlman
Richard Locker with Martha Locker
2:35 album only
14. Ballade- Torrie Zito
Richard Locker
2:54 album only


Album Notes
"The disc gets off to a wonderful start in the Franck sonata, where he is partnered by a truly superb pianist on the same wavelength as he, Sara Davis Buechner. Their performance has a gripping, intense quality that is not flashy but penetrates deep into the heart of the piece, which makes this cello version the equal of the best violin versions I ve heard...The sound quality is just as I like it on a disc like this, forward and clean, with just enough natural room acoustic to impart a room sound without swamping the cello.......This is a fine disc that will appeal particularly to cello lovers...... highly involved, warm, and technically masterful readings ... exceptional control as well as an outstanding gift of communication." --Fanfare

"Locker is a fine player...whose recordings are worth exploring." --American Record Guide

"....Locker, a longtime studio and film musician, has a masterly command of his instrument and is easily able to convey just about any sentiment he so chooses." Steven E. Ritter --Fanfare

Cesar Franck (1822-1890) wrote the Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major for the great Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaÿe in 1886 and presented him with the manuscript as a wedding gift. The work was transcribed shortly thereafter by the distinguished cellist Jules Delsart, Franck’s colleague and fellow teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. The cello’s darker hues create a compelling alternate version and it quickly became part of the standard cello repertoire.
The four movement piece is developed in cyclical form; i.e. the movements share common thematic threads. The opening Allegretto ben moderato begins with a mysterious, four bar piano introduction consisting of two cycles of somewhat dark and enigmatic tension and release. The following lyrical cello melody is marked molto dolce but always has an ironic edge. This first section builds to a heroic conclusion that leads to the second theme in the piano alone; it is never stated in the cello. The recapitulation and development take the harmony and the rhythm of the piano part to new level of intensity. Throughout, the music is so chromatic that the harmonies are never quite what they seem at first and the final A major chord does not offer complete resolution.
The second movement, Allegro, is a wild and extraordinary tour of the emotions characterized by soaring melodies, gigantic size, extreme intensity, mercurial harmonic shifts and fantastic and virtuosic writing for both instruments.
The third movement, Ben moderato, is titled Recitativo-Fantasia. In the first sixteen bars brief piano statements are followed, first by a short cadenza like passage in the cello and later by phrase ending cello commentaries. This leads to a five measure Molto lento where, for the first time, the two instruments play together. Another piano statement and cello cadenza follow. These thirty one measures constitute Franck’s highly stylized Recitativo. The Fantasia begins with an arpeggiated melody in the cello that quickly evolves to an obligato journey through the keys over descending chromatic scales in the piano. The two instruments come together into an enormous climax based on the opening cello cadenzas. This rises to two even greater peaks based on the same theme and then, in one of the great moments in music, time is suspended as the music metamorphoses into a meditative section of cello lines over arpeggiated piano harmonies. Another crescendo leads to a stupendous climax and the movement concludes with a poignant reiteration of the earlier Molto lento. The extraordinarily rich and ambiguous harmonic language conveys the deepest human emotions.
The final Allegretto poco mosso provides cheerful resolution though there are occasional flashbacks to the depth and intensity of earlier movements. A sweet theme is started in the piano and repeated in canon by the cello. This progresses to a second theme in the piano complemented by a cello obligato line, roles which soon reverse. A strong, martial passage in the piano leads to an almost direct quote of the most intense section of the Fantasia. This soon resolves into the return of the theme and the work concludes with an exuberant canonical sprint to the end.
The two works by Tchaikovsky, Entr'acte symphonique pour M. Leopold Auer from The Sleeping Beauty (Act II, No.18, cut from the original production), and Pas d’ Action from Swan Lake (Act II No. 13-V) are rarely heard in concert. The Pas d’ Action was adapted by Tchaikovsky from the duet "O happiness, O blessed moment" from his 1869 opera Undina, which he destroyed in 1873, preserving only a few numbers. It was recycled as the duet (No. 13-V) of Siegfried and Odette in Act 2 of Swan Lake (1875-1876). The vocal parts were replaced by solo cello and violin. Wikipedia. Both works were originally scored for an orchestra of woodwinds and strings, with the addition of harp in the Pas d’ Action.
Mozart wrote the Rondo in C, K 373 in 1781 for Italian violinist Antonio Brunetti, his successor as concertmaster of the Salzburg Court Orchestra. It was played by Brunetti in a concert for Archbishop Colloredo’s father, Prince Rudolph Joseph.

“Much of Nicolo Paganini's (1782 –1840) playing and composition was influenced by two violinists, Pietro Locatelli (1693-1746) and August Duranowski (1770-1834). During Paganini's study in Parma, he came across the 24 Caprices of Locatelli (entitled L'arte di nuova modulazione - Capricci enigmatici or The art of the new style - the enigmatic caprices). Around the same time, Duranowski (who had changed his name to Durand,) a former student of Viotti (1755-1824), became a celebrated violinist. He was renowned for his use of harmonics and the left hand pizzicato in his performance. Paganini was impressed by Durand's innovations and showmanship, which later also became the hallmarks of the young violin virtuoso. In releasing his Opus 1 (24 Caprices for Solo Violin), the composer dedicated it agli Artisti ('to the Artists'). Caprice No. 13 is nicknamed Devil's Laughter”.
Yosef "Yossele" Rosenblatt (1882-1933) was descended from a long line of cantors. As a child he became a member of his father's choir and was soon declared to be a 'wunderkind,' traveling throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, performing at countless synagogues. He held cantorial positions in Muncaz, Pressburg, and Hamburg before immigrating to the United States in 1912. During his five years in Pressburg he composed 150 recitatives and choral pieces, and in 1905 made the first of numerous phonograph recordings. In the US he was engaged by the Congregation Ohab Zedek, one of New York's premier synagogues, and his reputation quickly spread. He was soon recording for various companies, and in 1917, during a tour of thirty cities to raise funds for Jews suffering in Europe because of the war; he was offered $1,000 per performance if he would sing the role of Eleazar in Halevy's opera La Juive with the Chicago Opera. Later Warner Brothers offered him $100,000 to play the cantor in ‘The Jazz Singer” with Al Jolson. Rosenblatt refused both positions as being incompatible with his sacred position in the synagogue though he did appear in a minor role in the Warner film singing a Yiddish song in concert.
These recitatives are prayers that would be sung by the cantor during the Sabbath and Torah reading service in the Siddur, a prayer book containing a set order of daily prayers. Mi Sheberach is a traditional prayer for the sick. The prayer takes its name from the first two words: “mi sheberach” meaning, literally, the One who blessed.
He who blessed our forefathers ………..remove from (the sick) every affliction, heal their entire body, and forgive their every iniquity. N’Kadesh. We shall sanctify your name in the world as they sanctify it in the highest heaven. Mim’kom’cho: From your place, our king, you will appear and reign over us, for we await you……...May you be exalted and sanctified within Jerusalem, your city, from generation to generation and for all eternity.
Violinist and composer, George Perlman was born in Kiev in 1897. Generations of his family had been rabbis and many of Perlman's pieces reflect his Jewish heritage: in addition to the Ghetto Sketches of 1931, there are also the Suite Hebraique, written in 1929, and the Israeli Concertino of 1973. His works were published by Carl Fischer (where he also worked as a music editor,) Boosey and Hawkes, and Theodore Presser. Known primarily as a teacher, Mr. Perlman taught for 74 years until shortly before his death in 2000 at age 103. Hebraisch and Hebrew Chant and Dance are from his Ghetto Sketches.
Torrie Zito (1933-2009) was known primarily as an arranger for jazz and pop stars like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Billy Eckstine, Herbie Mann, John Lennon, Nana Mouskouri, Helen Merrill, Barbara Streisand, many other well known artists, but he was also an extraordinarily gifted composer. When I approached him in the early 90’s to ask if he had any works for cello he invited me to his home and we played this classic Ballade in its original version for cello and piano. This moved him to compose several other works for cello ensemble (to be performed on future CDs.) Mr. Zito was not just a master of sophisticated harmony; like the best composers he knew how to write for every instrument so that the performer felt like a genius. It was a common occurrence for orchestras of NY musicians to burst into applause, even cheers, after playing his work. Careful examination of the lovely accompanying lines in the Ballade will reveal his complex and original musical mind.



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