Jeanne Benjamin, violin; Michele Gallien, viola; David Gilbert, flute; George Haas, English horn; Allen Blustine, bass clarinet; Donald Butterfield, tuba; Robert Miller, piano; Raymond Des Roches, percussion; Richard Fitz, percussion; Jacques-Louis Monod, Conductor
Charles Dodge's Folia was commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation and was premiered under Melvin Strauss at the Berkshire Music Center in 1965; it is dedicated to Paul Fromm. It has also been conducted by Ralph Shapey with the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago, and by Mr. Dodge with New York’s Group for Contemporary Music. Mr. Dodge writes:
“After an initial flurry of activity in the piano and percussion, Folia begins its evolution from a unified texture of sustained tones into extended solo and ensemble passages. In these, the possible diversities (of length-of-note, timbre, articulation, register, and varieties of pitch and non- and almost-pitch) are balanced with the possible unities within these sonic dimensions. The title, meaning layers, refers to the resulting texture. The tracing of paths back and forth between unity and diversity results in a series of ever-heightened climaxes, and then in the music that leads from the final climax to the end of the work.”
Extensions for Trumpet and Tape was commissioned by and dedicated to Ronald Anderson, and was first performed by him at a concert of the Group for Contemporary Music in the spring of 1973.
Mr. Dodge writes:
“The material for the trumpet and tape share a simple concept—equal interval divisions of pitch space—but diverge in their sonic surfaces. The trumpet part was freely composed with lyrical intent, using the pitch space of the octave and emphasizing its equal-interval divisions: tritones, thirds, and seconds.
“The pitch space of the tape part is the continuum between 30 and 12,000 hz. The tape part, which consists entirely of sine-wave glissandos, begins with sixteen equal-interval divisions of the pitch space. The sine-tones forming these divisions glissand to the intervallic mid-point of the pitch range, where the direction of the glissando is changed. With each change of direction, the number of tones (and thus the number of equal-interval divisions of the pitch-space) is doubled, until the last glissando, when the tape comprises 1024 tones.
Bülent Arel writes:
“Mimiana II: Frieze was commissioned by the Mimi Garrard Dance Company. The choreography was completed some time before the musical score was composed. My general impression of the dance was of early Egyptian reliefs in which the human faces are seen in profile, while their torsos are facing outward. The dance gave me the feeling of a completely ritualistic procession consisting of slow and deliberate dancers’ movements. Except for a few contrasting short bursts of fast, active sequences, the dance never lost its hypnotic character.
“In the musical score, all the sounds are electronically produced. Coincidently, the composition reflects some tonal feelings. From the middle part of the score, where the ‘pure sounds’ or sine waves are used, microtones are introduced and begin to give a descending character to the previously existing pitches by very gradually shifting the pitch structure downward—creating an intentionally blurred pitch relation.
Benjamin Boretz writes:
“For those whose auditory way into Group Variations might be improved by some extra-intuitive assistance, the following leads are offered: first, no matter what the prospect of computer-electronic performance tends to prepare you for, listen to Group Variations as polyphonic ensemble music, whose sonic surfaces are the fused images of networks of musical qualities, the sounds of such qualities rather than ‘sounds’ in some isolated, exotic, sense. A pervasive shaping focus for these images, amounting to a conceit of the piece, is that every sizable passage of Group Variations—including the ‘passage’ consisting of the whole piece—begins as if suddenly tuning into the middle of something, and ends as if suddenly tuning out of something new that had just previously begun. And, as each image is registered in the form of a phrase—or tune-stretch, give particular notice to what it subsequently becomes, as it merges, as a component part, into a still larger, single, complex image.
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.