Barney Childs: Heaven to Clear When Day Did Close

David Ward-Steinman, piano; Nancy Turetzky, flute, piccolo; Bert Turetzky, contrabass; Phillip Rehfeldt, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon; Scott Vance, clarinet; Ron George, percussion, bass drum; Chris Corman, Blake Van Vliet, bass drum

Barney Childs (1926 - 2000) is perhaps best known for his innovative scores that weave indeterminacy and improvisation with traditional musical structures and notations. Eclectic in nature, Childs's compositions freely explored diverse avenues of musical thought and drew inspiration from many sources, including traditional western concert music (especially that of such composers as Hindemith, Ives, Ruggles, and Copland), the open form works of John Cage, and jazz of all periods and styles.

Childs's compositions usually have wonderfully idiosyncratic aspects to them, rather than following the dictates of either a system or an established style. He said that "to make music I make choices, as we all do, but I'm unable to presume that music must prove a doctrine, and I cannot accept music merely as process made audible. I choose what will happen simply because it seems to be the right thing to have happen, and in no other way." Thus, the pieces cannot be easily analyzed, and in fact, he dismisses the idea that the value of a work can be or should be determined by whether or not the resulting work is capable of a brilliant analysis.

His pieces consciously play with the listener's expectations, constantly balancing the familiar with the unexpected, so that the listener is "anticipating what is about to happen: the future is defined and qualified, as far as we can define it, by expectation and anticipation, and this is continually being fulfilled or surprised." This is exactly what makes a Childs piece work: the interplay between what is expected and what is not. This recording is a tribute to Childs by some of his close friends, performed and produced as a labor of love.

Various Artists

Barney Childs: Heaven to Clear When Day Did Close

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Track Listing

Heaven to Clear When Day Did Close
Barney Childs
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Sonata for Solo Clarinet: I. First Movement
Barney Childs
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Sonata for Solo Clarinet: II. Second Movement
Barney Childs
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Sonata for Solo Clarinet: III. Third Movement
Barney Childs
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Stances for Flute and Silence
Barney Childs
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Real Music
Barney Childs
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37 Songs
Barney Childs
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Music for Contrabass and Friend
Barney Childs
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Music for Bass Drum
Barney Childs
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Any Five
Barney Childs
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