Milton Babbitt: An Elizabethan Sextette
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR521     Release Date: 2007-02-01

Group for Contemporary Music; Nancy Bergman, voice; Janet Steele, voice; Johanna Arnold, voice; Susan Jacquemot, voice; Martha Rafferty-Page, voice; Barbara Ann Martin, voice; Benjamin Hudson, violin; Maureen Gallagher, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; Alan Feinberg, piano; Aleck Karis, piano; Harvey Sollberger, flute, alto flute, piccolo, Conductor; Daniel Shulman, Conductor; Bethany Beardslee, soprano


Milton Babbitt's compositions are not merely the output of some generational system, the dependable product of some fixed metier. On the contrary, they reflect the constant recombination of a small number of principles, preoccupations, and predilections that may be traced through his entire oeuvre. These "musical genes," which range from technical abstractions to his love affair with the female voice, combine uniquely in each piece, yielding the balance between individuality and communality, local spontaneity and global inevitability, characteristic of each work and his work as a whole.

The present recording ranges across Babbitt's compositional career, touching on most of the musical veins that run through his work. The variety of his compositions is immediately apparent from their diversity of ensemble and scope; their underlying communality emerges upon greater familiarity. On first hearing, An Elizabethan Sextette and Playing for Time would appear to have little in common, yet they contain identical underlying abstract structures. About Time employs a simple variant of the same structure, and Groupwise contains structures closely related to those in the aforementioned works. Briefly put, these underlying structures are contrapuntal webs of twelve-tone rows, craftily woven together to yield a maximal variety of ways of combining segments of different rows into collections of the total chromatic. Supple enough to afford a wealth of different interpretations both of detail and mode of presentation, these contrapuntal networks nevertheless preserve certain recognizable large-scale attributes in all their incarnations. The markedly different surfaces of the various compositions using versions of one of these networks attest to their flexibility of interpretation, while their shared qualities allow the listener to hear each work as a new venture over familiar terrain.



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).

Group for Contemporary Music & Bethany Beardslee

Milton Babbitt: An Elizabethan Sextette

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

Track Listing

Elizabethan Sextette: I. When I Was Fair And Young
Milton Babbitt
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Elizabethan Sextette: II. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Milton Babbitt
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Elizabethan Sextette: III. Your Face, Your Tongue, Your Wit
Milton Babbitt
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Elizabethan Sextette: IV. Can Doleful Notes To Measured Accents Set
Milton Babbitt
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Elizabethan Sextette: V. First Love
Milton Babbitt
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Elizabethan Sextette: VI. Neapolitan
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Minute Waltz (or) 3/4 ± 1/8
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Partitions
Milton Babbitt
Buy
It Takes Twelve To Tango
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Playing for Time
Milton Babbitt
Buy
About Time
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Groupwise
Milton Babbitt
Buy
Vision And Prayer
Milton Babbitt
Buy