CHARLES HAROLD BERNSTEIN (b.1917): Wanderer String Quartet, Alanal String Quartet (Los Angeles String Quartet), String Trio "Nostalgique" (Adam Korniszewski [violin], Pierre Henri Xuereb [viola], Barbara Marcinkowska [cello]), Dissonant Trio (Tomas Prévost [flute], Gary Gray [clarinet], Marcinkowska [cello]).
Catalogue Number: 09K080
Reference: CRC 2939
Description: Bernstein's basic idiom is relatively conservative - resolutely tonal for a start, and employing traditional forms - but within his self-imposed boundaries he displays considerable originality and individuality of expression. The quartets are impressive examples of the genre, with a lyrical, melodic flow and a classical sense of proportion. Both have soulful, somewhat melancholy slow movements, that of Alanal being especially effective, lively scherzo-like movements, and both end in an atmosphere of resolved optimism. The chromaticism of the trio's language underscores the work's essentially pensive mood, though vigorous episodes provide relief from the tension and prevent any sense of monotony. The unusually scored Dissonant Trio places its gently abrasive emphasis on dissonance and chromaticism in a firmly tonal context for heightened expressive effect.