Magazine article Gramophone

Navona Pairs Mexican Elizondo with Bostonian Tanner

Magazine article Gramophone

Navona Pairs Mexican Elizondo with Bostonian Tanner

Article excerpt

'Of Birds and Lemons'

Elizondo Estampas mexicanas. Danzas latinoamericanas (a). Leyenda del quetzal y la serpiente Tanner Pocket Symphony. Tango of the Lemons (b). I'll come to thee by moonlight (c). Tyger (c) Zuzana Rzounkova hn Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra/Petr Vronsky, (a) Vit Micka; (b) Millennium Symphony Orchestra/Robert Ian Winstin Navona (F) NV5887 (66' * DDD)

The engaging contents of this curious offering would have sounded perfectly at home 50 years ago; both David Tanner and Jose Elizondo profit by their easy ways with tonality and their willingness to engage listeners with quirky, subtle variations. Tanner's 20-minute Pocket Symphony, though the composer claims that he has paid homage to Bernstein, Copland, Debussy and Tchaikovsky, could be mistaken for a 21st-century attempt at catching the attitude and high jinks of Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, with hints of Nino Rota around the edges, in a similarly compact form and more genial style. Tanner's Tango of the Lemons, with its brilliant first-chair solos for cello and violin, shows that strings alone can swing too. His 10-minute I'll come to thee by moonlight, based on Alfred Noyes's romantic poem 'The Highwayman', features a brilliant horn solo (played splendidly by Zuzana Rzounkova) with overtones of Britten and Richard Strauss. Tyger is an uninhibited romp a la Shostakovich. As one might expect from the titles, Elizondo's music is more conventionally colourful and catchy but only his Leyenda del quetzal y le serpiente, evoking iconic Aztec myths, demands serious attention. …

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