CR057 Astro Dogs

John Carbon: Astro Dogs & Other Piano Works (CR057)

Review by Stephanie Boyd, American Record Guide

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The big work here is Astro Dogs (2019), 12 pieces based on the 12 signs of the zodiac. Each sign is also a variety of dog: Aquarius is a beagle, Libra a poodle, Cancer a Pekingese, etc. It’s an amusing juxtaposition of inspirations, and it keeps the music interesting. The composer has owned most of the dogs pictured. This composer is better than the others we have just reviewed. The two other sets of short pieces— Madeleines (2016) and Impromptus (2014)— sound like Poulenc sometimes. In the first set I was quite taken with the `Promenade’ (at the zoo in Versailles—maybe this composer is often inspired by animals). But the impromptus bored me—doodling, as so often happens today in piano music. Composer John Carbon (born 1951) and the pianist (younger) are both from Chicago.

Stephanie Boyd, American Record Guide, January 2021

Further information

American Record Guide

American Record Guide

Founded in 1935, American Record Guide is America’s oldest classical music review magazine. In 1992 it absorbed the editorial side of Musical America, so it also covers important concerts, orchestras, and musicians on the American scene.

We cover only classical music. There are up to 500 reviews in every issue, written by a freelance staff of over 80 writers and music critics. Many issues have an “Overview”, an extensive survey of recordings of one composer or one area of the repertoire, such as “Guitar Music”. “Independence” is a guiding principle: in an industry dominated by advertising, ARG remains free of advertiser influence, which results in few ads and no puff pieces for record labels or artists.

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Convivium Records

Convivium Records

Convivium Records (est. 2009) is committed to working with exceptional artists and composers to record and share their music. It recognises that a great recording project needs to establish a balance between artistic aspirations and commercial expectations. In addition to commercial releases, the label takes on private projects for schools, charities and other institutions.

Convivium Records involves musicians and composers in all decisions relating to their projects. For instance, this may include initial discussions about a new album, to recording, distribution, promotion and marketing.

At the heart of Convivium Records is a dedicated team, each of whom bring their expertise to projects as required. Above all, the Label’s ambition is to exceed the expectations of their clients by creating recordings that reflect their true potential.

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