Music of Fred Lerdahl
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR580     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Rolf Schulte, violin; Scott Nickrenz, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Beverly Morgan, mezzo-soprano; Collage New Music: [Ann Hobson Pilot, harp; Christopher Keyes, piano; John Damian, electric bass guitar; Henry Gwiazda, electric guitar; Ronald Knudsen, viola; Paul Fried, alto flute; Thomas Gauger, percussion; Frank Epstein, percussion; Fred Lerdahl, conductor]; Musical Elements: [Syoko Aki, violin; Karl Parens, cello; Keith Underwood, flute; David Krakauer, clarinet; Elizabeth DiFelice, piano; William Moersch, percussion; Robert Beaser, Conductor]; Bethany Beardslee, soprano; Boston Symphony Chamber Players: [Joseph Silverstein, violin; Burton Fine, viola; Jules Eskin, cello; Ann Hobson Pilot, harp; Charles Smith, percussion; Arthur Press, percussion; Everett Firth, percussion; David Epstein, Conductor]

The character of Waltzes arose from three impulses: first, to compose a work that was suitable for summer-festival listening; second, to provide a challenge for brilliant string players accustomed to the nineteenth-century repertory; and third, to simplify the intricacies of my contemporaneous string quartets (1978 and 1982) without sacrificing integrity or personality. Written in high spirits, the piece includes occasional references to past composers, but never in violation of my own syntax and style...

The text for Eros (1975) is a poem by Ezra Pound, entitled “Coitus,” from the volume Lustra (1915)...

Presumably the poet is contemplating a fresco by the Renaissance painter Giulio Romano. In the musical setting, for which the poem is merely a point of departure, the mezzo- soprano sings as if Giulio were her lover.

The piece is a set of twenty-one continuous variations, each twenty measures long. In the first variation the singer sets forth the entire poem; thereafter the poem is varied along with the music...


The larger form of Fantasy Etudes evolves from twelve interlocking ‘etudes.’ Each etude has its own characteristic idea and color so that the overall effect is one of ‘fantasy.’ Against this surface variety, however, there exists an underlying similarity of procedure. Each etude is cast in the form of ‘expanding variations,’ starting with a simple event and progressively elaborating into complexity (a rather different procedure from the classical variation technique of Eros...

Wake is the best fruit of my first period, which might be described as “post-Schoenbergian atonal/romantic.” (I have never been a serial composer.) Everything in the piece revolves around the soprano narration. The text is from passages in chapter eight of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, cut up and rearranged so as to reflect themes of the book as a whole.
—Fred Lerdahl


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

Music of Fred Lerdahl

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

Track Listing

Waltzes
Fred Lerdahl
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Eros
Fred Lerdahl
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Fantasy Etudes
Fred Lerdahl
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Wake
Fred Lerdahl
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