PETER GREVE (b.1931): The Palace of the Dreaming (New Europe Symphony Orchestra; Peter Greve), Magic Winter (Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra; Anthony Armore), Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (Yhasmin Valenzuela [clarinet], Leo Eguchi [cello], Karolina Rojahn [piano]), Partita for 11 Brass Instruments (Zagreb Festival Orchestra Brass Ensemble), Give Us Peace for Organ and Mixed Choir (Kühn Mixed Choir, Karel Martínek [organ]), Aria for Trumpet and Organ (Ondřej Jurčeka [trumpet], Martínek [organ]).
Catalogue Number: 12V046
Label: Navona Records
Description: Greve received a thorough conservatoire training in music before pursuing a scientific career until 2002, when he retired and devoted himself to composition, and he involved himself in musical activities throughout his life. His technical and expressive skills are impeccable, unlike many late-flowering composers who belatedly take up music after a lifetime spent in another discipline. He draws on baroque forms, mediæval modes, and dodecaphonic constructions and fleeting atonality in an idiom predicated on tonality as the proper estate of musical expression - neo-Romanticism is the overriding impression, and everything eventually resolves into tonality whatever happens along the way. The two orchestral suites are based on fairy-tale subjects, the first a sort of compressed ballet scene in nine vividly picturesque sections, sprightly and neoclassical (with a dodecaphonic 'joke' in one movement! - plus Bartók, Stravinsky and movie music); the other, based on Scandinavian folklore, atmospheric and dramatic, while wittily referencing Grieg and Sibelius. The seven short movements of Give Us Peace, using the Latin text and three translations, progresses from atonal doubt through violence expressed in clustered harmonies (and some very Messiaenic organ writing) to a tonal resolution in a work of considerable gravity and impact, despite its brevity. The delightful brass ensemble Partita traverses centuries, evoking Gabrieli and trends of the 20th century; the Trio is a multi-faceted in memoriam piece, deeply felt and strongly characterized; Aria is a pitch-perfect tribute to Poulenc (with a nod to Shostakovich).