HENRI LAZAROF (b.1932): Concerto for 2 Pianos (Bernadene Blaha, Kevin Fitzgerald), String Quartet No. 9 (Berganza String Quartet), Ensemble II for Piano Four Hands and String Quartet (Delores Stevens, Ming Tsu [piano], Ida Levin, Lorenz Gamma [violins], Andrew Duckles [viola], Ronald Leonard [cello]), Ensemble III for 2 Pianos and 2 Cellos (Blaha, Fitzgerald [pianos], Leonard, Peter Myers [cellos]).
Catalogue Number: 04K101
Reference: CRC 2949
Description: These recent ensemble pieces are typical of Lazarof's precise yet economical style, harmonically best heard as tonally based with freely dissonant characteristics tending toward atonality in the manner of Bartók and early Schönberg. The engaging and rhythmically incisive concerto incorporates a distinctly jazzy element in a work of lighthearted drama with abundant virtuosity, tempered by a reflective slow movement. The Ensemble works exhibit a similar rhythmic vitality in movements of contrasting character (and in the case of II also of varying instrumentation within the ensemble. The six-movement quartet also showcases solos and duos within the ensemble, in a closely argued specimen of discursive, conventional yet imaginative, cogent and lively quartet writing.