London Sinfonietta; David Atherton, conductor; Composers Quartet; Matthew Raimondi, violin; Anahid Ajemian, violin; Jean Dupouy, viola; Michael Rudiakov, cello; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Sydney Hodkinson, conductor
Marcel Dick's Symphony For Strings was composed in 1964 and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra under George Trautwein. About this music, Mr. Dick writes:
“Although they vary greatly in expression as well as techniques, the three movements all have one thing in common: at a certain point in each movement, all its features proceed in reverse order. They continue in their reflections, as it were, but never literally, for remembered events are sometimes distorted and sometimes, perhaps, beautified. An image, while creating its reflection, might still unfold under its own momentum in association with the mirrored one, into which it eventually dissolves. In this music, then, reflections manifest themselves as a distinct aspect of human experience.”
Donald Harris' String Quartet (1965) was commissioned by Samuel Wechsler for performance at the Festival of Contemporary American Music at Tanglewood. Mr. Harris writes:
“The work is in one movement. It is based upon a juxtaposition of two tempi, wherein I have endeavored to let freely unfold the expressive potential of the four instruments. The work has a highly concentrated formal structure in which each instrument is employed both as a solo related only to itself and as part of a heterogeneous whole. While it cannot be easily subdivided into sections, it strives through closely related associative uses of its materials, to bring about a constant renewal of its texture and emotional content, thereby attaining cohesion. The work is dedicated to Ross Lee and Gretchen Finney.”
Ludus (1966), a chamber concerto for 10 instruments, was commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. The composer writes:
“'Ludus' is the Latin word for 'play'. By thus entitling the work, I wished to underline certain musical and personal relationships that are important to the composition as a whole. There are two principal elements: three tempi, all interrelated by a basic metrical common denominator; and many different complexes of regular and irregular note patterns. I strove, through rapid and constant alternation of these two factors, to achieve a variety of moods, of varying intensities, reminiscent of the many-faceted and quickly changing attitudes and gestures which characterize the imaginative play of a child. One should not, however, conclude that the thrust of the composition is child's play, but an effort to transform the essential purity and spontaneity of child's play into a well thought-out and logical musical construction.
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.