Allan Blank & William Flanagan: Vocal Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL250     Release Date: 2010-08-15
Valarie Lamoree, soprano; Contemporary Chamber Ensemble: Paul Zukofsky, violin/viola; Arthur Bloom, clarinet/bass clarinet; Thomas Nyfenger, flute; Michael Rudiakov, cello; Gilbert Kalish, piano; Arthur Weisberg, conductor.
Matthew Raimondi, violin; Eugenie Dengel, viola; Allan Blank, conductor
Antonia Lavanne, soprano; Michael Sussman, clarinet; John Goberman, cello; Susan Jolles, harp; Edward Gerber, conductor.
June Barton, soprano; Noel Lee, piano; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Newell Jenkins, conductor.

The song-cycle, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird was commissioned by Mr. Stanley Hoffman and first performed at Town Hall under his direction on January 28, 1967. The soprano on that occasion was Yoshiko Ito. The text is a poem by Wallace Stevens. The score calls for, in addition to the soprano, flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, piano, violin/viola and cello.

Allan Blank writes:

"My involvement with the Wallace Stevens poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, dates back to approximately 12 years before the completion of the work. The attraction of the poem then, as later when I decided to return to the sketches, was not its poetic rhythms but the central issue of movement. I saw the movement crystallized in a number of key words and images, which interlock throughout. From these I derived the initial impulse to search for musical counterparts, such as pacing, speeds and densities. Then I searched, through trial and error, for the formal characteristics: line, melody and motives.

Two Parables by Franz Kafka, a two-part song cycle, was written for the Intimate Chamber Players and was performed by them with Valarie Lamoree in Town Hall in 1965.

"The two sections," writes the composer, "like Kafka's prose-poem texts, display contrasting characteristics but share common features. Both may be divided formally into three subsections. In the first parable, the deployment of material is subdivided by three hummed passages. In the second parable, a tempo change (subito doppio lento) emphasizes the subdivision.

The genesis of Poem was a commission to write a work for this specific instrumental combination and approximate length by its first performer, Antonia Lavanne.
“Though I had used the poetry of e. e. cummings on four earlier occasions,” writes the composer, “I stumbled upon this poem accidentally. I immediately felt it would he suitable for the instrumental colors forming in my ear. I was particularly touched by an accompanying note which cited this as his last poem. Rhythmic features of the poem, such as the opening spondee, represent an important point of departure for the musical shape.

William Flanagan's Another August was composed during the summer of 1967 on commission from New York's Clarion Music Society. Although Clarion's musical director. Newell Jenkins, varies his programs of unfamiliar music of the past with works by living composers, Another August is the first new work especially commissioned by Clarion.


This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Valarie Lamoree

Allan Blank & William Flanagan: Vocal Works

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Track Listing

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: I. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: II.-
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: III. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: IV. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: V. -
Allan Blank
Buy
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: VI. -
Allan Blank
Buy
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: VII. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: VIII. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: IX. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: X. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: XI. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: XII. -
Allan Blank
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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: XIII. -
Allan Blank
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Another August
William Flanagan
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Poem
Allan Blank
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Two Parables by Franz Kafka: I. -
Allan Blank
Buy
Two Parables by Franz Kafka: II. -
Allan Blank
Buy