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Haskell Small Lullaby of War

Lullaby of War
Renoir's Feast and
Three Etudes in Sound

Soheil Nasseri piano Martin Rayner narrator,
(poetry by Joy Harjo, Paula Tatarunis, Stephen Crane, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Walt Whitman and Yvan Goll

Naxos 8.559649

Congratulations to Soheil Nasseri, first for commissioning a notable poetry-plus-piano work and for presenting it to us so persuasively.

Haskell Small's “expression of outrage at our perpetual rationalizations for making war and an offering of compassion for its victims” was inspired by Picasso's great painting Guernica. It has piano commentaries upon six anti-war poems - about the American Civil War, World War I and two modern pieces, well chosen and well read.

Small’s music reflects the texts and makes imaginative and poignant use of silence and resonance. He had considered overlaying the poems on the music, as in Strauss' rarely heard Enoch Arden, but decided not to, as he didn't want the readings to compete with hearing Nasseri's piano playing.

A very successful contribution to Naxos' ‘American Classics’.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Note: The texts are downloadable from the Naxos website, a sensible economy for a company which operates in the budget market.

Soheil Nasseri is well represented on YouTube, most recently the Rachmaninov 1st concerto in St Petersberg