Hiller: Portfolio/Yttrehus: Quintet/Maslanka: Pieces for Clarinet
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL438     Release Date: 2018-02-06
Gregg Smith Singers; Gregg Smith, conductor; Members of Speculum Musicae:
Benjamin Hudson, violin; Virgil Blackwell, clarinet; Michael Parloff, flute; Jerry Grossman, cello; Ursula Oppens, piano; Donald Palma, conductor; Phillip Rehfeldt, clarinet; Barney Childs, piano

Lejaren Hiller writes:

A Portfolio . . . is a composition for up to ten performers of any sort accompanied by four stereo tapes (eight channels). It is in one long movement, in a completely symmetrical arch form which reaches its climax exactly halfway through. The four tapes are a “Timing Tape” containing voices and a strike tone marking each thirty-two-second period of the score, a “Harmony Tape” containing a prolonged harmonic progression from E-flat to A, a “Bell Tape” containing sum and difference tones arranged in peals by change ringing, and a “Canon Tape” meant to be interleaved with the performers’ music. The voices on the “Timing Tape” are Amanda Hiller and David Hiller, aged nine and eight in 1973.

Rolf Yttrehus writes:

“The Quintet was first performed in Town Hall in 1974 by the Da Capo Chamber Players. The work may be divided in six sections as follows: 1) Exposition in two parts; the first fast, the second slow. 2) Entrance of the bass clarinet whose sinister character causes the other instruments, especially the piccolo, to scamper about frantically. It plays a four-note motive in large note values which has a quasi-isorhythmic function. Eventually the piccolo joins the bass clarinet in canon. When all of this turmoil has worked itself out, the music settles down to a more quiet character...

David Maslanka writes:

Three Pieces was commissioned in 1974 by Phillip Rehfeldt and Barney Childs for their Clarinet and Friend series. It was completed in 1975 and has since been widely performed.

“The first piece is understated—elliptical, secretive, willful. Spidery, sparse textures of the beginning and end surround a central episode of denser, more tonally-oriented material. The piece embodies altogether a deliberate contrary juxtaposition of clarinet and piano.

“The second piece, marked aggressive, explosive, is a rough, raucous, bursting movement giving the impression of improvisation, though with the exception of one small section, it is entirely composed. Again there is a deliberate separation of clarinet and piano material. The effect is of two musics occupying roughly the same space but having very little to do with each other. The underlying tonal orientation of the whole piece begins to emerge in the piano writing.

“Number three follows with only brief pause. It is a gentle reconciliation of forces leading to a chorale-like passage with clarinet and piano in rhythmic lockstep. There follows a gradual revelation of the key of C# major and a long, ethereal coda for piano alone.”

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. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Hiller: Portfolio/Yttrehus: Quintet/Maslanka: Pieces for Clarinet

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print material or jewel case included.
A *.pdf of the notes may be accessed here free of charge.
   Liner Notes

Track Listing

Portfolio for Diverse Performers and Tape
Lejaren Hiller
Rolv Yttrehus
Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano: I. -
David Maslanka
Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano: II. -
David Maslanka
Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano: III. -
David Maslanka