Perle: Dance Fantasy (1986); Six Bagatelles (1965); Concerto for cello and orchestra (1966); Sinfonietta I (1987); A Short Symphony (1980)

Reviewed on Wed 06 Jun, 2018

Ludovic Morlot demonstrates total command of an orchestra that in its precision and confidence for performance of new music is a match for any other in the world today.

George Perle’s music is American in flavor, deeply influenced by Schoenberg and especially Berg, and at the same time as stylistically individual as it is rich. Perle’s distinctive and very personal atonality is leavened by wide-spaced harmony wrapped around an evanescent triadic interior with echoes of Ravel’s impressionism and Webern’s expressionism. Perhaps better known for chamber music and vocal music, Perle reveals in these works a fine brave feeling for orchestral sound; they are melodically strong, colorful, and incisive, with expressive outbursts and rapid changes of texture. Ludovic Morlot demonstrates total command of an orchestra that in its precision and confidence for performance of new music is a match for any other in the world today. Jay Campbell’s warm, vigorous solo performance offers a significant new addition to the cello concerto repertory. All of these works are recorded here for the first time – a treasure for listeners alert to the twentieth century.
–Mark DeVoto