Martin Boykan: City of Gold & Other Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR841     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Fenwick Smith, flute; Donald Berman, piano; Michael Curry, cello; Cyrus Stevens, violin; Auros Group for New Music: (Susan Hampton Gall, flute; David Horne, piano; William Kirkley, clarinet); Pro Arte Quartet: (Norman Paulu, violin; Martha Francis, violin; Richard Blum, viola; Parry Karp, cello)

Martin Boykan, more than any other living composer, is able to craft large-scale works with tremendous economy of means — works in which every note and gesture are essential both in the large and in the small. While he eschews overstatement and pyrotechnics, his work is emotionally available. Gratefully written for the instruments, it’s elegant, subtle and delicate, yet viscerally powerful when it needs to be. In this day and age where it can no longer be assumed that professional composers have even a cursory acquaintance with the past, it’s become a commonplace to speak of a least some recent music as being informed by “the tradition.” In Boykan’s case, the music of his forebears, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and particularly Beethoven, not to mention that of the Second Viennese school, has been most thoroughly absorbed and its compositional lessons applied in a unique and quintessentially American language belonging to the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, the music of the distant and not so distant past is truly alive for him offering boundless sustenance.

This CD presents four chamber works covering a period of twenty years, from the slight and blithely lyrical City of Gold (1996) for solo flute, to the large, intensely expressed, even thorny Second String Quartet (1973). In between are sandwiched Trio No. 2 (1997) for violin, cello and piano, and Echoes of Petrarch (1992) for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, and piano. Both trios are fine examples of Boykan’s mature mode of expression. Thus, the CD chronicles not only a reversed progression in time, but a continual reduction of means, the most recent work being the most unabashedly lyrical and simplest of surface.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order 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).

Various Artists

Martin Boykan: City of Gold & Other Works

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

City of Gold
Martin Boykan
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Piano Trio No. 2: I. Allegro
Martin Boykan
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Piano Trio No. 2: II. Lento espressive
Martin Boykan
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Piano Trio No. 2: III. Grazioso ed un po' scherzoso
Martin Boykan
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Echoes of Petrarch: I. Canzone - "Chiare, fresche e dolci acque"
Martin Boykan
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Echoes of Petrarch: II. Sonetto - "Pace non trovo e non ho da far guerra"
Martin Boykan
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Echoes of Petrarch: III. Madrigale - "Non al suo amante piu Diane piaque"
Martin Boykan
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String Quartet No. 2: I. Allegro
Martin Boykan
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String Quartet No. 2: II. Grave
Martin Boykan
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String Quartet No. 2: III. Vivo espressivo
Martin Boykan
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String Quartet No. 2: IV.
Martin Boykan
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