The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL

  PayPal

  Mastercard

  Visa

  Discover

  American Express



© 2002-2016, Squidco LLC


 

Harrison, Lou
In Retrospect

Harrison, Lou: In Retrospect (New World Records)
Label: New World Records    
Released in: USA    


"Although the compositional style of Lou Harrison (1917-2003) evolved and matured during his long and productive life, he held fast to a number of basic aesthetic principles: a devotion to beautiful melody; the foregrounding of rhythm, melody, and counterpoint over harmony; a preference for just-intonation tuning systems; and the integration of influences from diverse world musics. On the present disc, which includes works from 1939 to 1987, all of these characteristics are in evidence.

Despite its early origin, First Concerto for Flute and Percussion (1939) has remained one of Harrison's most frequently performed and recorded works. The ballet Solstice (1950) is written for octet: three treble instruments (flute, oboe, trumpet), three bass instruments (two cellos and string bass), and two keyboards (celesta and tack-piano). Harrison found that by combining the tack-piano with the celesta he could create a sound that resembled that of an Indonesian gamelan, which he first encountered in 1939. The complex rhythms and exuberant melodies of gamelan became a major source of inspiration. The gamelanish sounds in Solstice can be heard most prominently in the fourth movement ("Earth's Invitation"), when the solo flute line is accompanied by celesta, tack-piano, and pitched percussion created by the bass player, who strikes the strings of his instrument with drum sticks below the bridge.

The text for Strict Songs (1955, revised 1992), modeled on Navajo ritual song, is of Harrison's own invention. Harrison's interest in gamelan had led him to explore the possibilities of pentatonic modes. Each of the four movements of Strict Songs is based on a different pentatonic mode. All intervals are tuned to exact mathematical proportions, rather than to the impure compromise-intervals of present-day equal-temperament. The fixed-pitch instruments in the ensemble (piano and harp) are retuned to produce non-beating intervals; the strings and trombones match these pitches by ear. The effect of the retuning is a rich palette of intervals, far more varied in size than those in equal temperament (where all intervals of a particular type are the same).

Ariadne (1987) draws inspiration from the music of India. Harrison's music combines Indian and Western influences. The opening movement, "Ariadne Abandoned," functions like an alap-an introductory piece that introduces the mode and spirit of the work. In the second movement, "The Triumph of Ariadne and Dionysos," Harrison employs a compositional principle related to the Indian tala, a complex repeating rhythmic pattern.'-New World






See all items in the New World category



Related Categories of Interest:

New World
Avant-Garde
Compositional Forms
May 2007


Get additional information at New World



Search for other titles on the New World Records label.

Price: $13.95
In Stock


Quantity:

Shipping Weight: 5.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 093228066620

Label: New World Records
Catalog ID: 80666-2
Squidco Product Code: 8026

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Personnel:

Leroy Kromm-baritone

University of California, Santa Cruz Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra

Leta Miller-flute

Yvonne Powers-oboe

Adam Gordon-trumpet

Nohema Fernández-celesta

Emily Wong George-tack piano

Stephen Tramontozzi-string bass

Peter Shelton-Lee Duckles-cellos

William Winant and Heather Sloan-percussion

Nicole Paiement, Dennis Russell Davies-conductors

Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search


Track Listing:

First Concerto for Flute and Percussion (1939) 8:58

1. Earnest, fresh, and fastish 1:59

2. Slow and poignant 4:55

3. Strong, swinging, and fastish 2:04

Leta Miller, flute; William Winant and Heather Sloan, percussion



Strict Songs (1955, revised 1992) 19:10

4. No. 1, Here is Holiness 7:41

5. No. 2, Here is Nourishment 4:42

6. No. 3, Here is Tenderness 3:03

7. No. 4, Here is Splendor 3:44

Leroy Kromm, baritone; University of California, Santa Cruz Chamber singers and Chamber Orchestra;

Nicole Paiement, conductor



Ariadne (1987) 8:01

8. Ariadne Abandoned 2:52

9. The Triumph of Ariadne and Dionysos 5:09

Leta Miller, flute; William Winant, percussion



Solstice (1950) 26:57



Part 1:

10. Garden of the Sun 4:22

11. Entrance of the Moon Bull 3:51

12. Battle 2:31

13. Earth's Invitation 2:57

14. Vernal Dance 2:38



Part 2:

15. Saturnalia 1:47

16. Rekindling of the Fire 2:59

17. Turning of the Wheel 2:58

18. Blaze of Day 2:54



Leta Miller, flute; Yvonne Powers, oboe; Adam Gordon, trumpet; Nohema Fernández, celesta; Emily

Wong George, tack piano; Stephen Tramontozzi, string bass; Peter Shelton, Lee Duckles, cellos; Dennis

Russell Davies, conductor



Total time: 63:31