|Robert Stallman, flute; Jay Humeston, cello; Herman Weiss, prepared piano;
Paul Severtson, violin; NEC Chamber Ensemble, Anthony Coleman, conductor
This long-awaited recording includes three extraordinary works by one of America's most original and forward-thinking composers. The music of Burr Van Nostrand (b. 1945), although both born from and deeply rooted in the anti-war counterculture avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s, remains as strikingly fresh and timeless today as when it was first performed. Van Nostrand's music is marked by an acute sensitivity to instrumental color and texture, extreme sonic contrasts, gestural freedom, and a signature ensemble fluidity achieved through the use of very precise and detailed conventional notation combined with extraordinarily beautiful graphic notation, resulting in music that places very high technical demands on the performer and at the same time allows for the flexibility and freedom of improvisation. Each work on this disc presents a catalog of extended techniques that would widen the eyes of even the most dedicated Lachenmann enthusiast, but is also infused with a pluralistic view that vividly reflects the time and place of composition-Boston and New Haven at the height of the Vietnam anti-war movement. This disc includes three works that represent the extremes of his output, from the most graphically notated and improvisational, Voyage in a White Building 1, to the most structured and fully notated, Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival, with Phaedra Antinomaes located somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.