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Rick Sowash . . . Eroica
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composer & author . . .
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Review of the CD “Sanctuary at 3am”
from The American Record Guide, September/October, 2004

by Charles Parsons

The brief bio of Rick Sowash compares him to Charles Ives. “Unlike most composers, Rick Sowash has not sought an academic or commercial career in music. Folllowing the example of Charles Ives, Sowash has retained his art as a passionate avocation, earning his living in non-musical ways. He is the author of three books about the history and folklore of Ohio, his native state. He has also been a politician, theatre manager, radio broadcaster and innkeeper. He is a member of ASCAP, both as a composer and as a publisher.” Here any comparison with Charles Ives ends.

A brief quote from the composer says it all: “Even at this late hour, after the agony that characterized so much of 20th century music, we can return to the sanctuary of G major and g minor and take refuge in a slow, sad tune.”

Here we hear a collection of five slow, sad tunes, all beautifully played, mainly by members of the Cincinnati Symphony. (Sowash lives in Cincinnati.) “Sanctuary at 3am” is for clarinet and piano, “Lullabye for Kara” for cello and piano, “Variations on a Hiking Song” a piano solo; “Impressionist Suite #2” for oboe, clarinet and bassoon; and “The View from Carew” for clarinet, cello and piano.

It’s all totally tonal, tender, melancholy, quietly old-fashioned and exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely played. The music rests gracefully and gratefully in the ear. It’s music to “get away from it all.” What a treasure! What a pleasure!

 

   
"It’s all totally tonal, tender, melancholy, quietly old-fashioned and exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely played. The music rests gracefully and gratefully in the ear. It’s music to “get away from it all.” What a treasure! What a pleasure!"
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