Saturday, September 19, 2009

Newman-Oltman Duo

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to hear the Raritan River Music Festival, now celebrating its 20th year. Sadly, I haven't been able to get back to hear more since then, but its reputation continues to grow. Back then I also had the joy of interviewing the founders of the festival, guitarists Michael Newman and Laura Oltman. A couple and performing duo, they are charming hosts and tasteful, highly skilled musicians.

Recently I got an email from them announcing that their 2009 CD with the Daedalus Quartet, "Music from Raritan River," has received two Grammy nominations. Since founding the festival in 1989, the duo has commissioned a boatload of new music, including four works included on this recording.

The CD, released on the independent MSR Classics label, includes:
• Dušan Bogdanović (b.1955)--SEVDALINKA (1999)
• Lowell Liebermann (b.1961)--NOCTURNE-FANTASY, OPUS 69 (2000)
• Roberto Sierra (b.1953)--THREE HUNGARIAN TRIBUTES (1996)
• Augusta Read Thomas (b.1964)--memory:SWELLS (2005)
• Michael Karmon (b.1969)--CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS (2003)
• Rami Vamos (b.1976) & Randall Avers (b.1974)--THREE SONGS FOR TWELVE STRINGS (1997)

Hopefully I'll be able to offer a proper review of the CD soon. In the meantime, snippets of tracks are available on the label's website.


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