Music of Parris, Rochberg & Wuorinen
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL231     Release Date: 2010-08-15
Roman Siwek, trombone; Polish National Radio Orchestra;Ldzistan Szostak, conductor; Aeolian Quartet of Sarah Lawrence College; Raymond DesRoches, percussion

Robert Parris' Concerto For Trombone's vivid atmospheric content is only hinted by the titles of its two movements, Nocturne and Perpetual Motion. The first is an eldritch fantasy punctuated by furious thunderclaps, the second a sweeping, almost macabre romp.

Asked to comment on the music, Mr. Parris replied: “I feel that an oversimplified discussion of technical considerations can be less of a guide than a trap. Recreating form and content should be the listener's pleasure; to rely on the composer's view of his own work might lead an intelligent listener to over-esteem elements of the music which might, and perhaps should, be of secondary significance. In any case it was neither the structure nor the material that sparked the intense creative drive which persisted during the six weeks of composition, but rather the medium itself, the sonorous possibilities of which I found endlessly fascinating. To this excitement of the imagination was added the exhilaration of being able to pull out all the stops, to take advantage of the technical prowess of a virtuoso trombonist."

George Rochberg writes of his Contra Mortem Et Tempus:

“After the death of my son Paul in 1964 it became crystal clear to me that I could not continue writing so-called “serial" music . It was finished . . . hollow . . . meaningless. It also became clearer than ever before that the only justification for claiming one was engaged in the artistic act was to open one's art completely to life and its entire gamut of terror and joys (real and imagined); and to find, if one could, new ways to transmute these into whatever magic one was capable of. I rediscovered and reaffirmed with an intensity I had never known before the basic impulse which led me to want to compose music in the first place, a long time ago.

“With the loss of my son I was overwhelmed by the realization that death — and time which, as we humans reckon it, brings an end to all living things — could only be overcome by life itself; and to me this meant through art, by practicing my art as a living thing (in my marrow bone), free of the posturing cant and foolishness abroad these days which want to seal art off from life.

Charles Wuorinen's Janissary Music was composed in 1966 for Raymond DesRoches, percussionist extraordinary. The title is the name given to Turkish mercenary troops active between the 14th and 19th centuries; the composer does not, however, admit that he had any programmatic intentions, but rather that the title was applied to the piece as a reference, not an evocation.

The single musician is required to play three sets of instruments, each restricted to a single instrument-class: the mallet instruments (vibraphone arid marimba), twelve “metals” (gongs, cymbals, cowbells and triangles) and 12 drums, ranging, like the metals, in order of ascending pitch. The instruments are frequently played either simultaneously or in such close juxtaposition that the player is usually holding four mallets or sticks at once.

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. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Music of Parris, Rochberg & Wuorinen

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

Concerto for Trombone: I. Nocturne
Robert Parris
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Concerto for Trombone: II. Perpetual Motion
Robert Parris
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Contra Mortem et Tempus
George Rochberg
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Janissary Music: I. -
Charles Wuorinen
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Janissary Music: II. -
Charles Wuorinen
Buy