Music of Henry Brant & Irving Fine
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL106     Release Date: 2010-03-10

Twenty years before his first official spatial work, Antiphony I, Brant was already experimenting with masses of similar instruments. Angels and Devils won, along with the Irving Fine work featured here, the 1955 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. It's a beautifully constructed piece that combines large, almost proto-spectral, sound clusters of the elevem flutes with moments of incredible polyphony. Fans of work by Marc Sabat and Catherine Lamb will be entranced by some of the transformative masses of overtones, regardless of their being in a more melodic texture.

"The composer has volunteered the following précis of the “elements ... incorporated into the musical vocabulary of Angels and Devils: 1. Harmony. Chords up to eleven notes, including polychords and tone-clusters as well as the normal harmonic vocabulary. 2. Counterpoint. Up to ten independent voices. A double fugue forms the development section of the sonata- structured first movement. The second movement has several sections in eight-part counterpoint climaxed with a dissonant fugato shortly before the end. 3. Style. While predominantly serious, the music has many jazz, circus, and bird-vocabulary aspects, especially in the second and third movements. 4. Sonorities. The specialties of the flute — double-tonguing, triple-tonguing, flutter-tonguing, rhythmed vibrato, multiple trills and runs, and various composites of these elements — are found in a variety of registers. Simple unisons of alto flutes, of low C flutes and of piccolos also are used.”

[Adapted from original LP liner notes by James Lyons]

The other winner of the American Academy's 1955 award is Irving Fine, who offers three movements of two pieces. The first, Music for Piano, is almost unapologetically tonal and impressionistically beautiful. Played by the composer himself, the two movements excerpted for this release feel almost bucolic, natural, and arboreal. Mutability falls more easily into the time of its composition, although its atonality is still tempered with Fine's watercolor sense. Throughout the five movements, he shows off his full harmonic spectrum, moving from chromaticism back through diatonic writing and ending with a full dodecaphonic setting of the five pieces by poet Irene Orgel.

"His keyboard suite Music for Piano was composed at the MacDowell colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in mid-1947. It was intended as a tribute to Nadia Boulanger, who had been one of Fine's distinguished teachers, on her sixtieth birthday. In all there are four movements. Two of them, the Variations and the Waltz-Gavotte, are excerpted herewith. A later stay at Peterboro, in 1952, resulted in Mutability — a cycle of five songs and an epilogue. The lyrics are by Irene Orgel, the young English poet who was a fellow MacDowell colonist that summer. The work had been commissioned by the Creative Concerts Guild. In conception it is essentially Romantic, although Nos. 1 and 3 use a relatively free modern chromaticism, No. 5 a rather stylized diatonic classicism, and No. 6 a twelve-tone technique comfortably within a clearly defined tonality. It is not irrelevant to add that the songs were written with contralto Eunice Alberts expressly in mind."

[Adapted from original LP liner notes by James Lyons]

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. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Music of Henry Brant & Irving Fine

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included.


Track Listing

Angels And Devils: I.
Henry Brant
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Angels And Devils: II.
Henry Brant
Buy
Angels And Devils: III.
Henry Brant
Buy
Music for Piano: Variations
Irving Fine
Buy
Music for Piano: Waltz-Gavotte
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: I. I Have Heard The Hoof Beats of Happiness
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: II. My Father
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: III The Weed
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: IV. Peregrine
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: V. Jubilation
Irving Fine
Buy
Mutability: VI. Now God Be Thanked for Mutability
Irving Fine
Buy