DINOS CONSTANTINIDES (b.1929): Piano Concerto (Michael Gurt [piano], LSU Symphony Orchestra; Carlos Riazuelo), Concerto of Psalms for 2 Violins and Orchestra (Renata Arado, Espen Lilleslåtten [violins]), Baroque Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra (Ronaldo Cadeu [guitar]), Cello Concerto "China IV Shenzhen" (Dennis Parker [cello]).
Catalogue Number: 08P070
Reference: CRC 3258
Description: This coupling of attractive concertante works demonstrates the composer's versatility and originality. Common features of Constantinides' style are an approach to tonality frequently colored by a distinct south-eastern European modality - very likely derived from the composer's Greek roots - integrated into a neo-romantic vocabulary much as Hovhaness did and a fondness for allusions to Baroque and Classical models (especially, of course, in the Baroque Concerto, in which each movement celebrates a different composer of the period, but also present in the string concerti). If his 'big tunes' have a tendency toward Hollywood, they're none the worse for that. The Psalms and piano concerti both have impressive, imposing opening movements, the latter work then progressing through a series of lively, humorous movements, while the remaining movements of the other reflect the awed and joyful texts that inspired the music. The guitar concerto integrates skillful and affectionate baroque pastiche into a 20th-century idiom, not unlike Stravinsky's Pulcinella. The cello concerto depicts the composer's impressions of the Chinese city of Shenzhen, but without obvious emulation of Chinese scales; such modal inflections as there are are the composer's European ones. The work is also an homage to the great Romantic cello concerti of the standard literature, with allusions to phrases from several of them. Louisiana Sinfonietta; Dinos Constantinides.