Terry Plumeri


The Fanfare Magazine Review of Plumeri Conducts Plumeri by Paul A. Snook

Although no biographical data is provided in the booklet, one can assume Plumeri is a relatively young man who has much in common with other American post-modernists. While showing a fully professional awareness of twentieth-century harmonic and instrumental procedures, he is content' perhaps because of his Italianate heritage? to fall back on the tried and true precepts of the late-nineteenth-century masters, because his primary aim is to please the ear and to communicate with the soul of the listener.

This music is conceived with a sumptuously sensuous neo-romantic afflatus that calls to mind the similarly effortless lyricism of the American-born Canadian, Michael Conway Baker (b. 1937), (examples on CBC and Summit), or the Victory At Sea spirit of the Roylance/Gavin music for The Battle of the Atlantic on Conifer.

WINDFLOWER is a meditative thirteen-minute tone poem for oboe and orchestra which is modeled on pieces like Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, and is fraught with a comparable kind of pantheistic mysticism. But this is most definitely not New Age music soothing though formless and emotionally undemanding. Plumeri has an inborn dramatic sense of shape and pacing, as his twenty-five minute narrative PRIDE OF BALTIMORE demonstrates. This work, inspired by the saga of a century-old refurbished clipper which was tragically lost at sea in 1986, could superficially serve as a soundtrack of a documentary film, but is actually a long way from being just a fragmentary background score. It shows sustained formal growth, diversification, and integration, and it operates on a much broader canvas, musically as well as philosophically.

These well-prepared, composer-conducted performances and recordings are both technically and esthetically stunning. Let us hope more Plumeri is in the recording pipeline.

Paul A. Snook
Fanfare Magazine


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