Music of John Harbison, Roger Johnson & Raoul Pleskow
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL293     Release Date: 2010-10-15
Robert Miller, piano; Dorian Woodwind Quintet: Karl Kraber, flute; Charles Kuskin, oboe; Jerry Kirkbride, clarinet; Barry Benjamin, horn; Jane Taylor, bassoon; Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Jeanne Benjamin, violin; Fred Sherry, cello; Alvin Brehm, bass; Paul Dunkel, flute; Arthur Bloom, clarinet; Allan Dean, trumpet; Frederic Rzewski, celesta; Gilbert Kalish, piano; Raymond Des Roches, percussion; Arthur Weisberg, Conductor; Lewis Kaplan, violin; Walter Ponce, piano

John Harbison writes:

Parody-Fantasia was composed in December 1967 and January 1968 at the suggestion of the pianist Ursula Oppens, who gave it its first performances. My two basic intentions were to make a large but compressed piece, and to combine sonority and abstraction.

“The 'parody' of the title refers to the use of a venerable cantus firmus as a binding thread and also to the occasional ironic character of the music. In navigating through the single continuous movement, the player is guided by sub-headings: Preamble — Take-offs — Flights — Arrivals — Games — Post-Mortem. These might well be more technical substitutes like plateau- long upbeat-long downbeat-higher plateau. They focus on the large rhythmic issues, and may also suggest connections with Schumann, air travel, and various fantasies.

Roger Johnson's Wind Quintet is in one movement and is fundamentally lyrical, with a strong harmonic foundation. The majority of the pitch material is derived from the four note series B C D E♭ and its many transpositions. The music is based on an alternation of two types of contrasting episodes. The introduction, coda and two internal episodes are chordal in nature and slow moving, with the tone-series used as the principal chord.

Raoul Pleskow's Movement for Nine Players was written in 1967 and is scored for flute, clarinet, violin, piano, celesta (alternating with piano II), percussion, trumpet, cello and bass. It received its first performance by the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble under its conductor, Arthur Weisberg, in October of that year. The work consists essentially of 31 variations set in 7 bar units with some expansions, elisions and interpolations.

Bagatelles No. 3 for Solo Violin was written in 1968 and is the third of a series of short works for various instruments. It was commissioned by Daniel Kobialka but received its first performance by Jeanne Benjamin, violinist. The work is in two movements.

Per Vege Viene was written in the summer of 1970. The title is dedicatory. The first movement of the two-movement work consists essentially of the alternation of three basic activities: 1) Chords and long notes; 2) rapid 16th note movement, 3) diversified thematic material in a canonic relationship between violin and piano. These three events are engaged in constantly changing textural, rhythmic and syntactical relationships. The basic pitch material for both movements is the two chords of parallel construction with which the piece begins.


This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available 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).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Various Artists

Music of John Harbison, Roger Johnson & Raoul Pleskow

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Parody-Fantasia
John Harbison
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Woodwind Quintet
Roger Johnson
Buy
Movement for Nine Players
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Bagatelles No. 3
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Per Vege Viene: I. Quarter note = 100
Raoul Pleskow
Buy
Per Vege Viene: II. Quarter note = 120
Raoul Pleskow
Buy