Jeanne Benjamin, violin; Jacob Glick, viola; Fortunato Arico, cello; Alvin Brehm, bass; Karl Kraber, flute; Gerardo Levy, flute; Allen Blustine, clarinet; Ronald Anderson, trumpet; Porter Poindexter, trombone; Gordon Gottlieb, percussion; Raymond DesRoches, percussion; Claire Heldrich, percussion; Howard van Hyning, percussion; Paul Jacobs, piano; David Gilbert, Conductor; Joel Krosnick, cello; Robert Miller, piano; oncord String Quartet: Mark Sokol, violin; Andrew Jennings, violin; John Kochanowski, viola; Norman Fischer, cello; Richard Trythall, piano
Mario Davidovsky's Inflexions was written in 1965. It was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the University of Chicago, and was premiered there by Ralph Shapey. The piece is in one movement and scored for fourteen players: two flutes, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, piano, four percussion players, violin, viola, cello and contrabass.
This composition was one of the first purely instrumental pieces written by Mr. Davidovsky after a period of almost five years of composing exclusively with electronic means. Articulative processes, idiosyncratic to the electronic media, seem to have been transferred to the conventional instruments, lending to the piece a very particular idiomatic character.
Chacona for violin, cello, and piano was commissioned in 1972 by Drake University, College of Fine Arts, and was premiered by the Drake Fine Arts Trio.
In this composition, a regularly recurrent set of durations provides one of the basic materials upon which musical continuity is derived. There is a resemblance between the function of these recorded sets of pulses and the function of the harmonic scheme in the classic Baroque chaconne. There is an attempt in this composition to obtain an acoustically balanced ensemble, avoiding the traditional dominance of the piano, by incorporating the three instruments into a single texture.
Tison Street writes:
“The original ideas for my String Quartet, 1972, were developed over a period of years before the piece was actually written. These were years in which I was beginning to feel a renewed sense of well-being and began composing again after the lacuna that followed my student days. I began to develop a new musical speech — especially during my stays at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire —a kind of harmonic and gestural language that had possibilities of expressing warmth, joy, sensuousness to a greater degree than some of the well-known avant- garde styles, and that achieved this without returning to the tonal and rhythmic language of the past.
About his music, Richard Trythall writes:
“In the four large orchestral works that preceded Coincidences (Composition for Piano and Orchestra, Penelope's Monologue for soprano and orchestra, Costruzione for orchestra, Continuums for orchestra), I had become increasingly concerned with achieving a greater variety of musical gesture and nuance. This had led me to a more flexible approach towards pitch control and to attempts to link this with a functional harmonic framework — in the large as well as the small shape of the work.
"Coincidences (1969) is built upon the movement from a finite, cadenced phrase-world to an infinite, non-cadenced world. Structurally this is effected by a gradual contraction of the phrase length (i.e. a compression of the time in which a thought may unfold) to the length of a single sound, and the subsequent periodic repetition of this point in extended open ended phrases.
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.