Miriam Gideon, Martin Boykan
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL401     Release Date: 2011-02-15
Judith Raskin, soprano; Da Capo Chamber Players (Patricia Spencer, flute; Joel Lester, violin; Andre Emelianoff, cello) with guest artists Ronald Roseman, oboe; Gordon Gottlieb, vibraphone; John DeMain, conductor; American Composers Orchestra; James Dixon, conductor; Pro Arte Quartet; Norman Paulu, violin; Martha Francis, violin; Richard Blum, viola; Parry Karp, cello

Miriam Gideon writes:

Nocturnes was composed in 1975 on a commission from Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Siegel of New York City, in celebration of the 18th birthday of their daughter, Rena. The poems I chose, and their transmutation into music, seemed an appropriate evocation of youth and its awakening to the magical forces of nature: the quiet traversing of the sky in To The Moon; a serene control over turbulent forces in High Tide; and the dream-like spell of Witchery.

Songs Of Youth And Madness, composed in 1977 on a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a cycle based on poems by Friedrich Hölderlin, written during the two extreme phases of the poet's life: the first, during his over-powering love affair with Susette Gontard (the `Diotima' of the poems); and the second phase, after the tragic death of Mme. Gontard, which in part effected a radical change in the poet's personality, rendering him unable to face reality, but not extinguishing his poetic activity. To the Fates, To Diotima, and Affirmation are early poems of youthful passion and sorrow. The Walk is typical of his period of madness: remote, devout, and shot through with bolts of anger and pain.

Martin Boykan writes:

“Though divided into four separate movements, my Second Quartet is conceived as a continuous work, culminating in the extended slow movement which closes it. Each of the first three movements is unbalanced in shape. The first movement begins with a rapid-fire succession of ideas leading to an unusually early climax. A short slow movement follows — too short, in fact, to be complete. It is to be continued at the end of the quartet. The third movement is a fast scherzo which leads into the last movement without any pause (indeed, with a phrase overlap).

“The concluding 'Lento' is divided into four equal sections, marked by rhyming cadences. But against this even background, the music is unevenly paced, so that the sections seem unequal in length. For the first time in the quartet octaves appear; they are intended not as points of structural emphasis, but as expressive moments. I have attempted to invest this interval, avoided in much contemporary music, with the significance of a 'diabolus in musica.'



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We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

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Judith Raskin

Miriam Gideon, Martin Boykan

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Track Listing

Nocturnes: To The Moon
Miriam Gideon
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Nocturnes: High Tide
Miriam Gideon
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Nocturnes: Witchery
Miriam Gideon
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Songs of Youth and Madness: To The Fates
Miriam Gideon
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Songs of Youth and Madness: To Diotima
Miriam Gideon
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Songs of Youth and Madness: Affirmation
Miriam Gideon
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Songs of Youth and Madness: The Walk
Miriam Gideon
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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
Martin Boykan
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String Quartet No. 2: IV. Lento espressivo
Martin Boykan
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