Listening Room

04 Modern 04 Elizabeth Raum

Myth, Legend, Romance – Concertos of Elizabeth Raum
Various Artists
Centrediscs CMCCD 20615


Three orchestral concertos telling stories ancient, old and modern by Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum are featured in this gorgeous release.

Raum has won numerous awards, grants and accolades throughout her career. Here her compositions may not be the most adventurous but her romantic-infused melodies and harmonies and storytelling programmatic ideas result in lush colours, challenging virtuosic soloist parts and clear orchestral writing.

Persephone and Demeter is a tone poem based on the ancient Greek legend. The mother and daughter are musically represented by violist Rivka Golani and the composer’s violinist daughter Erika Raum. Both soloists are touching in their performances of their relationship, especially when the daughter is stolen to the Underworld. The tuba and horns of the Regina Symphony under Victor Sawa are menacing as Hades and the Underworld.

The liner notes describe Sherwood Legend as “movie music without the movie.” And so it is! In this extremely uplifting, amusing piece based on Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, French horn soloist Kurt Kellan’s performance hits the bull’s eye in tone, touch and technique, with a fine performance by the Calgary Philharmonic under Sawa.

Concerto for Violin (Faces of Woman) is less programmatic figuratively speaking but the writing brings out a tour-de-force performance by violinist Erika Raum and the Sneak Peek Orchestra under Victor Cheng. Using snippets from her daughter’s own compositions, Elizabeth has created the best musical gift a mother could give!

No myths here – this is music to be enjoyed!

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