PAUL REALE (b.1943): Cello Sonatas No. 1 and No. 2 “Chopin’s Ghost”, Séance for Solo Cello, Wexford Carol, Durch die Jahreszeiten II.

Catalogue Number: 04T065

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.559820

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: Accessible and tonal, though not lightweight, works by a composer with ties to the American tonal tradition of the 20th century - he mentions Harris and Barber. He is not opposed to dissonance or novel tonal progressions, though his use of folk material to 'bring audiences into familiar territory' and reverence for Romanticism, especially that of Chopin, sits a little oddly with his assertion that "the time has come for critics to stop asserting that all contemporary tonal music embraces the past." In any case, the two sonatas are substantial works; the first, though structured more like a five-movement suite is more conventionally neo-romantic, though with Baroque motifs, also present in the much earlier Séance. Both sonatas make original use of the composer's tonal vocabulary, and by way of a bonus, the first theme of the finale of the First is "What shall we do with the drunken sailor".

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