Music of Layton, Spies & Whittenberg
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL257     Release Date: 2010-09-15

Yehudi Wyner, Piano; Matthew Raimondi, Violin; Robert Miller, Piano and Harpsichord; Samuel Rhodes, Viola; Composers Quartet: Matthew Raimondi, violin; Anahid Ajemian, violin; Michael Rudiakov, cello; Jean Dupouy, viola;

Billy Jim Layton says:
"The piano studies are formidably difficult to play, especially the kaleidoscopic second one, and I would like to say that I am deeply grateful to my old and close friend Yehudi Wyner for taking the trouble to learn them. Certainly no one understands better than he the character of the music. It was also he who, many years ago, brought the violin studies to the attention of Matthew Raimondi, leading to many performances of the piece by the two of them over the years, and finally to the brilliant and beautiful presentation on this recording."

Claudio Spies has written the following remarks on the two compositions included on this record:

"Impromptu For Piano:

"Composed in March 1963, in celebration of the birth of their first child to dear friends, this piece is subtitled 'Cradle music for Adam Henry Zivin' and its purpose is thereby explained.

"Viopiacem, Duo for Viola and Keyboard Instruments:

"In assembling a 'duo for three instruments' — the keyboard-player being required to perform on the harpsichord and the piano — my intention was to provide each of the composition's eight sections with its particular instrumental identity and textural definition. These sections, of varying length, make use of the participating instruments according to the following plan: 1) viola, 2) viola and piano, 3) piano, 4) viola and piano, 5) viola, 6) harpsichord, 7) viola and harpsichord, 8) viola, harpsichord and piano. In addition, the sections are balanced by an overall tempo scheme, by musical materials held, and derived, in common, as well as by a network of returns.

"Viopiacem was composed in 1965. Its title was derived by joining together the opening syllable of each instrument's Italian name. Felicitous aural associations between this compound and words meaning 'life', 'peace', and 'pleasure' were neither unnoticed at the
time, nor unintended."

Charles Whittenberg offers the following commentary:

"The String Quartet In One Movement was begun in New York and completed in Munich, Germany. The World Premiere was 20 May, 1966 by the Quartetto Di Nuova Musica, Italian Radio (RIA), Rome. The first American performance was given by the Composers String Quartet in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, 3 May, 1969."

"Four solo motifs are the composition's initial and primary structural assignments. These motifs are pitch, register and dynamic variants of each other. The composition unfolds in a succession of operations upon these motifs, not in a "cumulative" development but in interjections and superimpositions of the material of one motif into or onto another. As the rate of temporal unfolding is neither constant nor progressive, the listener may here perceive overlapping combinations and orderings with the aid of the medium. To repeat the totality, one re-plays the recording. I believe that this relatively short-term conjunction is a 'perception factor unique to recorded music."


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 Layton, Spies & Whittenberg

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

Track Listing

Five Studies for Violin and Piano, Op.1: Study 1
Billy Jim Layton
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Five Studies for Violin and Piano, Op.1: Study 2
Billy Jim Layton
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Five Studies for Violin and Piano, Op.1: Study 3
Billy Jim Layton
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Five Studies for Violin and Piano, Op.1: Study 4
Billy Jim Layton
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Five Studies for Violin and Piano, Op.1: Study 5
Billy Jim Layton
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Three Studies for Piano, Op. 5: Study 1
Billy Jim Layton
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Three Studies for Piano, Op. 5: Study 2
Billy Jim Layton
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Three Studies for Piano, Op. 5: Study 3
Billy Jim Layton
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Impromptu for piano
Claudio Spies
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Viopiacem
Claudio Spies
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String Quartet in One Movement
Charles Whittenberg
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