Bassett, Erb, Edwards & MacDougall: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL323     Release Date: 2010-11-15
Concord String Quartet:[Andrew Jennings, violin; Mark Sokol, violin; John Kochanowski, viola; Norman Fischer, cello] Gilbert Kalish, piano; John Graham, viola; New York Brass Quintet:[Robert Nagel, trumpet; Allan Dean, trumpet; Paul Ingraham, horn; John Swallow, trombone; Thompson Hanks, tuba] James Smolko, piano; Matthias Bamert, Conductor; Boston Musica Viva:[Nancy Cirillo, violin; Marcus Thompson, viola; Bruce Coppock, cello; John Heiss, flute; William Wrzesien, clarinet] Richard Pittman, Conductor; Contemporary Music Ensemble: [Eric Wilson, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello; Christopher Finckel, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Paul Dunkel, flute; George Haas, oboe; Allen Blustine, clarinet;]Arthur Weisberg, Conductor

Leslie Bassett writes:

“The Sextet came into being as the result of several considerations. Nine years had passed since my last chamber music for strings, the Third Quartet written in Rome, and I wanted to work again with an ensemble capable of high intensity and poignancy. The piano was added for its incisive quality and extended low register and the extra viola to improve the balance between the strings and piano and to add warmth. I strove to make the work structurally clear, to project many moods, and to call upon a rich variety of instrumental colors. The music alternates between clearly metrical passages, which predominate, and unmetered areas in which metrics gradually move out of phase or disappear entirely. Metrical passages, often closely-knit rhythmically, usually place the piano and strings in dialogue. The first two movements are restless and fast, though quite different in mood and content. Both rise to climactic points, then end quietly. The third movement is slow, the fourth assertive and driving. Much of the musical material emerges from three consecutive major thirds on D-flat, D-natural, and E-flat above middle C, played against a pedal E-natural in the same octave. These closely- grouped notes generate in turn many lines and sounds which have strong influence on all major areas of the music.

Donald Erb writes:

“Cast in a classic mold of three movements, [Three Pieces for Brass Quintet] contains many facets of brass writing. The first movement utilizes many things one can do with a brass instrument without actually 'playing' it. The slow movement stresses the more elegant aspects of brass playing and uses, to some extent, double muting. It is also in the classic sense the lyric movement. The final movement is a hard driving piece which employs techniques learned from my years as a jazz trumpeter. It is hopefully a showcase for brass players.”

George Edwards writes:

Kreuz und Quer, written for the Boston Musica Viva, was first performed by them in November 1971 in Cambridge, Mass. It is one of a series of short pieces in which I attempted to concentrate both a wide variety of material (textures, tempi, etc.) and a wide variety of ways of getting from one kind of material to another. In Kreuz und Quer, the range of character is roughly that of a serenade, while the pacing involves sudden changes, long transitions, pun-like repetitions of previous material in new contexts, and rare moments of complete repose.”

Robert MacDougall writes:

Anacoluthon: A Confluence (1972) is the product of an interest in instrumental timbres and in what might be called musical characterization. The one is a relatively recent concern; only within the past two years have I been seriously probing and absorbing various non-standard instrumental techniques. The other, however, has been part of my musical outlook since my earliest pieces. Music for me is an essentially dramatic experience; certain elements are set in motion which eventually find themselves in conflict with each other and with themselves. They interact, exploring one another, drawing each other out. Groping, challenging, searching, they sometimes transform one another, or themselves, as the result of such contact. It is intended to be an active, vital process whose power is dependent upon strong initial characterizations: the elements must be delineated clearly and forcefully from the very beginning. By and large I have tried to let the limitations and possibilities of new instrumental sounds and techniques of playing determine pitch content, rhythmic drive, and dynamic range. In other words, I have not thought of these effects as isolated "color" highlights on an otherwise conventional canvas, but have permitted their particular demands to determine the constraints within which the structure of the work evolved.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Bassett, Erb, Edwards & MacDougall: Chamber Works

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included.


Track Listing

Sextet for Piano and Strings: I. -
Leslie Bassett
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Sextet for Piano and Strings: II. -
Leslie Bassett
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Sextet for Piano and Strings: III. -
Leslie Bassett
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Sextet for Piano and Strings: IV. -
Leslie Bassett
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Three Pieces for Brass Quintet and Piano: I. -
Donald Erb
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Three Pieces for Brass Quintet and Piano: II. -
Donald Erb
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Three Pieces for Brass Quintet and Piano: III. -
Donald Erb
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Kreuz und Quer
George Edwards
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Anacoluthon "A confluence": I. -
Robert MacDougall
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Anacoluthon "A confluence": II. -
Robert MacDougall
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