Larry Polansky: Lonesome Road
Liner Notes   Cat. No. 80566     Release Date: 2001-01-01

Martin Christ, piano

Larry Polansky (b 1954), though known primarily for his work in the field of computer music, has produced a major addition to the keyboard literature, this massive theme-and-variations on Ruth Crawford Seeger's arrangement of the folk song "Lonesome Road." Inspired by his deep engagement with her music, Lonesome Road (1988-89) is a prime example of Polansky's penchant for building large architectonic structures through complex transformational processes.

The work is in three sections of seventeen variations each. The variations in the middle section (XVIII-XXXIV) are generally longer and more developed than those in the outer sections. In many cases, corresponding variations in the three sections are related and have similar structures (Variation I is related to XVIII, which is related to XXXV). The set of fifty-one variations is kaleidoscopic in the variety of styles through which the theme is refracted and transformed.

In spite of its formal complexity, the variety of moods and the depth of feeling underscore the composer's use of form to enhance expressive content. This is the world-premiere recording of this mammoth piece, a wonderful amalgam of Ivesian pianism, gamelan patterns, jazz-tinged harmonies, and folk song. Its size and grandeur hark back to a pianistic outsider tradition of sui generis works and it is the most important American keyboard work since Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated.

Martin Christ

Larry Polansky: Lonesome Road

WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Lonesome Road: I. Opening
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: II. Little Black Dots
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: III. Chorale (I)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: IV. After Subono (I)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: V. Waltz (I)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: VI. Unison/Octaves
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: VII. Chorale (II)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: VIII. Genderan (for Marc Perlman)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: IX. Unison
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: X. Waltz
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XI. Chorale (III)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XII. Chorale (IV)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XIII. Chorale (V)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XIVa.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XIVb.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XV. Very fast and loud
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XVI. Chorale (VI)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XVII. "The Hensley Deviations"
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XVIII. Quietly, peacefully
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XIX. Cegkok and coda
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XX. Song
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXI. Fast
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXII. Phantasy
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXVa. Slowly
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXVb. Very legato
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXVI. Middle
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXVII. Melody and accompaniment
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXVIII. Rather fast
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXIX. Soft, slow, very rubato
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXX. Fast, swing
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXI. Still fast, swing
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXII. Faster
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXIII. "The Independence Movement" (for David Rosenboom)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXIVa. Very lyrical
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXV. Fast
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXVI. Very slow, very quiet
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXVII. Ballad
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXVIII. Steady
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XXXIX
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road : XL. Slow and pretty
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLI.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLII.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLIII. Fast
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLIV. Waltz (III)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLV.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLVI. Legato, slow, soft, rubato
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLVII. Three Keys Waltz
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLVIII. After Subono (II)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: XLIX.
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: L. Chorale (VI)
Larry Polansky
Lonesome Road: LI. Gently, freely
Larry Polansky