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Ralph Shapey: Radical Traditionalism

Composer(s): Ralph Shapey
Album Title: Ralph Shapey: Radical Traditionalism 
Cat. No.: 80681 (2 CDs)
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 08/2007
 
Description: Wanda Maximilien, piano; The Lexington Quartet of the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago; Quartet of the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago; Robert Black, piano; New York New Music Ensemble: Jayn Rosenfeld, flute; Laura Flax, clarinet; Daniel Druckman, percussion; Alan Feinberg, piano; Cyrus Stevens, violin; Eric Bartlett, cello; Robert Black, conductor

"Radical traditionalist" is what I've been called. My music combines two fundamentally contradictory impulses-radical language and romantic sensibility. The melodies are disjunct and dissonant; they contain atonal harmonies and extremes in register, dynamics and textural contrast. Yet the musical structures are grandly formed and run the gamut of dramatic gestures. Like the Romantics, I conceive of art in a deeply spiritual way. A great work of art transcends the immediate moment into a world of infinity.   -Ralph Shapey

This collection-drawn from the original CRI LPs-provides a glimpse into a critical point in Ralph Shapey's (1921–2002) artistic development and comprises several of his most important compositions. It covers a period from 1963 to 1979, when he moved from an astringent, visionary modernism, to a version of the same that was tempered by a more "classical" character. This is a major restoration to the discography of contemporary American music of the work of one of its most uncompromising and largely misunderstood figures.

21 Variations for Piano (1978), String Quartet No. 6 (1963), String Quartet No. 7 (1972), Fromm Variations (31 Variations for Piano) (1966; 1972–73), Three for Six (1979) 
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