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Mark L Lehman
American Record Guide, November 2009

David Lampel is a Swedish composer born in 1959. He writes in a late-romantic idiom—tonal but chromatically inflected and full of fin de siecle yearning—that wouldn’t have been out of place in Vienna or Berlin in the decade before World War I. The music is well made and enjoyable…his compositions are compact (none more than 11 minutes long) and don’t wear out their welcome…These five chamber pieces are all quite recent. The string quartet and the Prelude and Chaconne for solo cello are in two movements; the other works—a piano sonata, a violin sonata, and a string sextet—are cast in a single, unbroken span. As you’d expect from the idiom, much of this music is slow and rhapsodic, with long-lined melodies and rich harmonic suspensions, though (as in the violin sonata) there are faster episodes that generate momentum building toward climactic restatements of the main, slower ideas…the very well played and vividly recorded piano sonata, string sextet, and violin sonata are richly textured, shapely, affecting works infused with bittersweet romantic passion that however old-fashioned never goes out of style. I’ve listened to them many times with increasing pleasure and admiration.

The Prelude and Chaconne for solo cello is a virtuoso tribute to Bach. Though technically impressive it seems like an anachronistic exercise; the more rewarding sextet and sonatas don’t. It’s for those beauties that I’ll return to Lampel’s music.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2009

All composed within the last seven years, the disc portrays a composer that is going in many directions, and it will be interesting to travel with him. Swedish by birth in 1959, he now divides his time between France and his homeland, having studied composition in both. Technically his music is atonal, but he belongs to that every enlarging group that form interesting melody from that basic ingredient. His String Quartet I most strongly commend to you, its opening flourish grasping your attention, and within conventional quartet sounds he produces some interesting sonorities. In the Parisii he has superb advocates, their immaculate intonation and balance between instruments always to be admired. He accepts his debt to Schoenberg in the String Sextet, but this is the Schoenberg who wrote Verklarte Nacht, and if this is pastiche, well I guess I would happily settle for any such score, the Uppsala group driving into it with such passion that you think their lives depended upon it. Samuel Barber comes to mind in the Piano Sonata, not that it particularly sounds like that, but it shares that earnestness of endeavour. I’m always picky about violin sonatas, and his short and hyperactive score does not do a lot for me, but the Prelude and Chaconne, ‘Homage to Bach’  for solo cello is an interesting extension of the Baroque era into modern times. Pianist. Sebastien Risler; the violin/piano duo of Regis Pasquier and Emmanuel Strosser, and Henri Demarquette’s cello are the remainder of the outstanding performers. Various dates and locations, but the sound is good throughout.

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