Stephen Hartke: The King of the Sun

Composer(s): Stephen Hartke
Album Title: Stephen Hartke: The King of the Sun 
Cat. No.: 80461
Genre: Classical
Description: The music of Stephen Hartke

The King of the Sun

Ronald Copes, violin; Angela Schwartz, cello; James Bonn, piano; The Dunsmuir Piano Quartet

“...If constructing organic structures is one challenge facing today's composers, finding a distinctive musical voice is another. Stephen Hartke has oneā€¦.Authenticity is a difficult quality to account for, but Mr. Hartke’s music is guileless and affecting...” —The New York Times

Stephen Hartke is concerned, not with effect, but with affect, not with novel sounds or concepts but with all the sounds, concepts, and experiences that affect him and could affect his listeners. He is not eclectic, but synthesistic. His music capitalizes not only on the breadth of his musical experience and general erudition, but also on the musical experience of his generation, which grew up enjoying access through recordings and broadcast to many different musical eras, genres, and languages. Messiaen, Bartok, Ives, jazz, gagaku, gamelan, samba, plainchant , pre-Renaissance polyphony (to cite a few influences) and a deep interest in visual art are all filtered through Hartke's ecumenical sensibility and inform his rich, colorful, lyrical and rhythmically vital compositions, three of which— Sonata-Variations (1984) for violin and piano, The King of the Sun (1988) for piano quartet, and Night Rubrics (1990), for solo cello—are featured on this collection. Hartke has recently been singled out by The New York Times as one of the more important figures of the post-Babbitt generation of younger American composers. 
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