KASP 57721—Music by Louis Pelosi
$ 12 plus shipping (CD)
The American Record Guide said of this CD:
"His (Louis Pelosi's) music has an attractive blend of 20th Century verve and dissonance controlled by a romantic element and enriched with a modicum of Bachian counterpoint. In other words, he is an attractively balanced composer, easy on the ear but awakening to the mind. The 26-minute Piano Trio is a lovely warmhearted piece that contrasts well with the lively Woodwind Quartet. The Brass Elegy is an extension of an earlier work and contains fast as well as slow music. Finally, String Quartet 3 closes out the series with a strong statement combining the negative with the positive. It is a lovely and moving piece supplying closure to a beautifully expressive collection of music. The performances are all excellent."
And Fanfare Magazine wrote:
"The works on these tribute CD's are, I can attest, great art, and make a profound impression on the auditor. All the Polish performers in the chamber works play superbly, and present the music in convincing and convicting fashion."
MusicWeb International said:
Part III consists of three chamber works. Of the three discs, I found this one the most satisfying, and would recommend it to those looking for a place to begin. Much of the interest lies in the different combination of instruments each work offers. The Piano Trio is cast in two contrasting movements. The first has busy insistent rhythms which strut out with assertive determination. The second movement, more than twice the length, is a lament which is almost disconsolate, its theme taken from No. 26 of the Thirty-Seven Inventions, Canons and Fugues, which was the piece the composer was working on when his wife died. The Woodwind Quartet is a work in three short movements moulded in the fast-slow-fast pattern. It is notable for his concision of ideas, with the overarching mood joyful and blithe. The elegiacally-framed Elegy for Brass Quintet is strikingly different in mood. Pelosi's String Quartet No. 3 is in four movements. The opener is tenderly etched, eventually opening out into a more spirited section. There follows a scherzo-like movement with pizzicato accompaniment. A pensive Largo precedes a vivacious finale, which incorporates material from the opening movement for its coda.
The participating artists all perform with compelling musicality and enthusiasm. All the works have been well-recorded and are in superb sound. Accompanying annotations give a brief overview of the music performed. As a newcomer, I have found it both an enriching and fascinating discovery.
Louis Pelosi describes the music on this new disc, as well as its relation to the memory of his wife as follows:
Piano Trio (2009-10)
In two movements, the first vigorous and the second — about twice as long — much slower and more expansive, my Piano Trio incorporates the structures of double fugue in each part to integrate seemingly disparate elements. Both movements hover around D, although the second appears to begin a half-step lower (or, depending on whether one's perspective is harmonic rather than melodic, on the dominant) and must struggle to get there. As for my late wife, Rosemarie Koczy's presence in this often explosive work, suffice it to note that the principal, chant-like theme of the slow movement is in fact the second subject of the piano fugue (no. 26 of my Inventions, Canons and Fugues) I was composing when she died. It was my dirge to her then . . . and my insistent lament to her here and now.
Woodwind Quartet (2005-06)
My Woodwind Quartet unfolds in three brief movements — fast, slow, fast. It concerns itself principally with unusually strict imitative procedures, quasi-canonic in the extreme, and harmonic inflections (subtle shifts) for expressive purposes. Amidst the varying contrapuntal textures, it attempts to maintain clarity, momentum and &mash; certainly not least, emotive poignance and power. Although written before Rosemarie's illness and death, it, like my Prayer Suite (composed at the same time) and all subsequent works, is dedicated in sorrow and love to her memory.
Elegy For Brass Quintet (Revisited) (2009)
Composed originally in 1994 to remember an elderly man dear to Rosemarie and myself, Elegy For Brass Quintet (Revisited) now eulogizes her. The work has been expanded, principally by the opening material which recurs toward the middle and at the very end, and made thematically more unified, especially as concerns secondary subjects in the lower instruments and the increasingly dominant fast music carried mostly by the trumpets. What opened the earlier version (now the destination of the new introduction) at the moment where all the instruments enter upon the long subject on A, pays another homage: to Robert Schumann's deeply moving beginning to his Symphony No. 4, where A serves as dominant pedal point to the theme in d minor. There IS no ground under my chant, just as there is no bottom to the well of my sorrow at losing Rosemarie . . . two years ago today.Louis Pelosi December 12th, 2009
String Quartet No. 3 (2008-10)
String Quartet No. 3 brings to a close my decision to record in music my devotion to my beloved Rosemarie as far beyond the date of her death as I shall have the agonizing duty to live. The work itself closes upon itself: the primary material of the first movement returns as the coda to the fourth and last. In between, movements two, three and four bring to the fore subjects, patterns and textures that are subsidiary in the long opening movement. I will only call attention to its delicate second theme, which I understood at once as addressing — indeed, as coming from — Rosemarie Koczy herself. When it returns, its counterpoint, or rather its counterpart, is . . . me. It makes a final appearance as the fulcrum of the brief third movement — the quartet's heart, as it were. Altogether, and not withstanding the many vigorous, even wrenching, sections and passages, my third string quartet insists, I believe, on being heard as a hymn to my wife, who even in death continues — and WILL continue — to elevate the existence I have still to fill without her and, somehow, to fulfill.Louis Pelosi August 5th, 2010
Music By Louis Pelosi