Childs, Pleskow & Custer: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL253     Release Date: 2010-08-15
Sophie Sollberger, flute; Harvey Sollberger, flute; Peter Middleton, flute; Lester Weil, bassoon; Josef Marx, oboe; Thomas Moore, violin; Howard Rovics, piano;
Interlochen Arts Quintet: Gary Sigurdson, flute; Robert Morgan, oboe; Ernest Ormand, clarinet; Lewis Lipnick, bassoon; Norman Schweikert, horn;
Bonnie Douglas, violin; Gary Gray, clarinet; Douglas Davis, cello;

Both the works of Barney Childs recorded here, played by the artists for whom they were written, were composed in 1963, the Duo in June in Tucson and Music for Two Flute Players in September at the MacDowell Colony. The works are similar in admitting silence as a structural element and in the use of indeterminacy, through performer choice, to animate large fixed structures. Music does so more extensively; the piece involves not only choices of articulation, as the Duo, but also, from time to time, choice of pitches, choice among pre-composed alternative passages, and improvised cadenzas. Both pieces therefore demand, in addition to instrumental virtuosity, a close teamwork often requiring one player's decision to be made on what—and when—the other plays.

Raoul Pleskow writes:

"Movement For Oboe, Violin And Piano was written in the summer of 1966. I was concerned with writing a piece of constant and rapid changes. The musical materials are dispersed among the three diversified instruments as a mobile, constantly shifting and realigning manner. The shapes move between the containment of a phrased and periodized syntax and one of an interruptive and asymmetrical setting among an ever-changing texture. The pitch material is ordered into short segments that freely circulate and are the source of the melodic- harmonic materials. The formal aspect of the piece is involved with realizing the basic pitch material in these varied registral, rhythmic, dynamic and timbral projections."

About his Permutations, Arthur Custer writes:

"The music of the first movement is busy, virtuosic, and dramatic. Its structure is defined by three short cadenzas (one for each instrument), which serve to interrupt and retard the motion. The second movement is rhythmically (but not dynamically) static. An ostinato figure comes and goes, and finally becomes integrated into the melodic/harmonic gesture. The third movement is brisk, but its manner is more flowing than the first movement. The basic material (a repeated-note figure and a scale) alternate with aleatoric sections."

The composer comments on his woodwind piece as follows:

"The first of the Two Movements for Woodwind Quintet is rhapsodic. A contrapuntal duet for flute and bassoon gives way to horn and oboe. Clarinet and flute are then paired. A climax built on repeating patterns provokes a two-measure interlude of roulades for all the instruments. An attempt to continue the duet (oboe and bassoon) fails: the rapid figurations assert themselves. The two elements then function side-by-side, alternately coming into prominence before the quiet ending. The form of the movement is open and additive. The manipulation of the two gestures is handled in such a manner as to avoid repetitions of the material.

"The second movement employs motor rhythms whose energy is derived from motives and repeated-note figures. Breathing places in the form are provided by sections of sustained chords. These passages impart textural variety and plasticity, in spite of the steady Takt which lies beneath."


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Various Artists

Childs, Pleskow & Custer: Chamber Works

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Track Listing

Music for Two Flute Players
Barney Childs
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Duo for Flute and Bassoon
Barney Childs
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Movement for Oboe, Violin and Piano
Raoul Pleskow
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Two Movements for Woodwind Quintet: I. -
Arthur Custer
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Two Movements for Woodwind Quintet: II. -
Arthur Custer
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Permutations: I. -
Arthur Custer
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Permutations: II. -
Arthur Custer
Buy
Permutations: III -
Arthur Custer
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