New York Woodwind Quintet: Samuel Baron, flute; Ronald Roseman, oboe; David Glazer, clarinet; Arthur Weisberg, bassoon; Ralph Froelich, French horn; Albert Hamme, saxophone; Raymond Des Roches, percussion; Elizabeth Korte, piano
The Lark Quintet: John Wion, flute; Arthur Bloom, clarinet; Humbert Lucarelli, oboe; Alan Brown, bassoon; Howard T. Howard, horn
Group for Contemporary Music: Jeanne Benjamin, violin; Lewis Kaplan, violin; Samuel Rhodes, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; Raymond Des Roches, vibraphone; Joan Tower, celesta; Robert Miller, harmonium; Robert Parris, harpsichord
Since 1964 there has been a marked change in Karl Korte's musical style and Matrix (1968) along with his Second Quartet (1965), Third Symphony (1969), and a recently completed Study For Saxophone And Magnetic Tape, all concern themselves with a rather free and personal approach to serialized pitch relationships. In these works the juxtaposition of divergent or even opposing musical events plays an important role—as Samuel Baron put it, “you turn a corner and discover yourself in a totally unexpected world.” In addition, Matrix makes considerable use of metric modulation, as the composer felt that the expressive gestures associated with rallantandi and accelerandi would be unsuited to this work.
The Suite For Woodwind Quintet was the last composition by Ruth Crawford Seeger before her death in 1953. Unlike some of her piano music of the 1920s (CRI 247) this music is neither theoretical nor aggressive. Each of its three movements is carefully, almost lovingly shaped, and allowed to blossom (the wild unison race in the middle of the first movement is a case in point). It makes, nevertheless, full use of the devices of dissonant counterpoint and is determinedly flexible in its metric procedures.
Julian Orbon's Partita No. 2 opposes the contrasting textures of the harpsichord and strings to achieve its distinctive atmosphere that may be recognized as Latin-American. It was commissioned for the Third International Musical Festival in Washington, D. C., where it had its first performance with Robert Parris at the harpsichord and Richard Dufallo conducting in 1965. Paul Hume of the Washington Post commented on its “splendor of sound' and its “lofty mood,” and noted its “mingling a sense of improvisation with a constant sense of absolute security of means and intent.” It is scored for string quartet, celesta, harmonium, vibraphone and harpsichord; it is a new version of the composer's Partita No. 1 for solo harpsichord.
The name partita is used here in the same sense it was used by Frescobaldi in the 17th century, to denote a set of variations. It consists of twelve variations and a coda on thematic material of improvisatory character. Throughout the composition, Mr. Orbon says he was thinking of the “spirit” of variation, as employed by the Spanish masters of the sixteenth century and others up to Webern's Op. 30, as distinct from the more academic variations of the classical schools.
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.