Helps / Moore / Pleskow / Shepherd
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL383     Release Date: 2011-02-15

Genevieve Chinn piano; Allen Brings, piano; Vivien Harvey Slater, piano


Robert Helps writes:

Saccade was commissioned by Milton and Peggy Salkind through the Friends of Four Hand Music (San Francisco) and premiered by them in San Francisco in June, 1968.

“After finishing the piece and having the problems that often attend finding a title, a search through the S-section of Webster's unabridged dictionary turned up the word 'saccade.' Saccade is a riding term meaning a quick check of the horse by a violent pull on the reins and a musical term meaning a sudden strong pressure of the violin bow causing two or more strings to sound simultaneously. All of this would seem to apply most meaningfully, if at all, to the opening of the piece which does a rather nasty thing to any 'togetherness- minded' four hand piano team by stating the main declamatory theme in six widely-spaced chords which are not to be played quite together by the two players. This quasi grace-note characteristic plays a recurring role one way or another in several parts of the piece...

Thomas Moore writes:

“I am concerned with a kind of 'overwriting' in which an addition is made to an original in such a way, that the additional matter absorbs the original into itself. In this case, Metamorphosis is written over the first movement of Anton Webern's Symphony, Op. 21, much as a painter might fill in the spaces to transform an original abstraction. Webern's material (in augmentation and with changes in durational values) is embedded in the new work. In most of the piece the choice of new tones is governed by the same twelve-tone set that Webern used in the Symphony. In one passage (together with its repetition) Webern's original tones are not covered over but are changed in their articulation. With these words my compositional debt to Webern for Metamorphosis is acknowledged.”

Raoul Pleskow's Three Pieces was written in 1968, and premiered by Genevieve Chinn and Allen Brings at whose request it was composed.

The three short pieces of which this work is comprised are not differentiated significantly by tempo or mood. They are rather like three variations, each with its own thematic properties, undergoing a procedural technique characterized by the juxtaposition and interaction of small musical fragments and sudden and frequent changes of texture, dynamics, and syntax.

Arthur Shepherd (b. Paris, Idaho, 1880, d. Cleveland, 1958), was a member of the generation that built a bridge between the music of MacDowell, Loeffler, Chadwick, Parker, Foote and Griffes, and that of the later Piston-Harris-Copland generation. Like the music of his own contemporaries such as Converse, Carpenter, Farwell and Gilbert, the work of Arthur Shepherd is being rediscovered as an important contribution to American art. His extensive catalogue of music in many forms has been performed internationally by leading orchestras and soloists. It is distinguished by exceptionally solid workmanship, a striking individuality of sound and content, and a communication which has been called genuinely aristocratic. His long career as composer, teacher, conductor, pianist, critic, and counselor of countless younger artists was — in the words of musicologist William S. Newman — “marked by a quiet steadfastness of purpose, not by spectacular adventures.”



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.***

Various Artists

Helps / Moore / Pleskow / Shepherd

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Saccade
Robert Helps
Buy
Metamorphosis
Thomas Moore
Buy
Three Pieces: I.-
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Three Pieces: II. -
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Three Pieces: III. -
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Capriccio II
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
Lento Amabile
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
In Modo Ostinato
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
Exotic Dance: No. 1
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
Exotic Dance: No. 3
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
Eclogue: No. 4
Arthur Shepherd
Buy
Gigue Fantasque
Arthur Shepherd
Buy