Lou Harrison: Piano Concerto/Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra
Lou Harrison's later works, notably the many pieces that call for Indonesian gamelan—either alone or in combination with Western instruments—show the results of his considerable immersion in the music of the Far East. But so does the earlier, marvelously subtle Suite for Violin, Piano, and an Orchestra, consisting of three winds, two cellos, bass, harp, celesta, tam-tam and a "tackpiano" (an upright with tacks in the hammers so as to give off a harpsichord-like clangor), composed in 1951, ten years before Harrison's first visit to the Orient. Two of its six movements are entitled "Gamelan;" with their simple, open sonorities and their accompaniment obsessively repeating, they do indeed capture the essence of this haunting, teasing music— a "honeyed thunder," as Harrison himself describes it. Nearly 35 years separate this work from the large-scale Piano Concerto completed in 1985. Harrison's fascination with exotic musical sounds and designs led him to the actual building of Oriental instruments, including two complete gamelans. This activity, in turn, led him to a consideration of the manner in which instruments are tuned, and of systems of intonation in use throughout the world in the past and present.

Keith Jarrett

Lou Harrison: Piano Concerto/Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra

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Track Listing

Piano Concerto: I. Allegro
Lou Harrison
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Piano Concerto: II. Stampede
Lou Harrison
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Piano Concerto: III. Largo
Lou Harrison
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Piano Concerto: IV. Allegro moderato
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: I. Overture
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: II. Elegy
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: III. First Gamelan
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: IV. Aria
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: V. Second Gamelan
Lou Harrison
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Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra: VI. Chorale
Lou Harrison
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