Music of John Anthony Lennon
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR599     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Kronos Quartet: [David Harrington, violin; John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello]; Continuum: [Mia Wu, violin; Cheryl Seltzer, piano; Joel Sachs, piano; David Krakauer, clarinet]; Jayn Rosenfeld, flute; Rachel Rosales, soprano; James Forger, saxophone; Deborah Moriarty, piano


In his music, John Anthony Lennon combines contemporary compositional methods with elements of Romantic and Impressionistic styles. He achieves an integrated manner that produces music at once fresh and familiar. His compositions have been commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center Theater Chamber Players, the Library of Congress, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and the National Endowment for the Arts Orchestral Consortium, among many others...

Voices (1982), for string quartet, was written in Paris and dedicated to the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The title refers both to the concept of each line singing and to the term applied in harmony for different melodic lines within a homophonic or contrapuntal texture. The work is in one movement delineated by four solos, one for each instrument. Motivic material returns in varying manners lending a sense of rondo form. It is, however, basically through-composed. The intent is for an overall feeling of spontaneity and passion.

Drawn from the musical traditions of France and Italy, Ballade Belliss' also reflects a mixture of Impressionism with 19th century Romanticism. Although it does not replicate those styles, the piece's sound is lyric and sensuous, and it deliberately avoids the harsh sonorities and cryptic organizations that have predominated much music of the past few decades. The piece was commissioned by the National Flute Association in 1986.

The song cycle Seven Translations (1988) combines translations of Japanese and ancient Latin texts that render images from the sentimental to the absurd. The cycle focuses on experiences common to both cultures, and it views them through a 20th century framework. Using scalar manipulation, the last piece of the set, "In Praise of Wine," is dedicated to the memory of Paul Fromm.

A range of emotions is revealed in Distances Within Me (1979), which was written in an instinctive rather than formal manner. The composer varies density and levels of intensity to express different sentiments evocative to the individual listener. Commissioned by James Forger for the National Saxophone Congress in Chicago, the work was originally recorded for CRI in 1981 and was rerecorded in 1991 by the same artists to take advantage of digital technology and the artists' greater familiarity with and affection for the piece.
- Janice McNeeley


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 John Anthony Lennon

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

Track Listing

Voices
John Anthony Lennon
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Ballade Belliss'
John Anthony Lennon
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Echolalia
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: I. On The grass
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: II. Lament for Hathimoda, abbess of Gandesheim
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: III. Star and dead leaves
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: IV. Since worms and dust must be your fate
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: V. Run on Castle Island
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: VI. Come, make an end
John Anthony Lennon
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Seven Translations: VII. In Praise of Wine
John Anthony Lennon
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Distances Within Me
John Anthony Lennon
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