Music of Talma, Fine, Perry, Daniels & Howe
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL145     Release Date: 2010-05-01

Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo; William Strickland, Conductor

Louise Talma's Toccata opens with a dazzling trumpet fanfare, continued by strings and woodwinds. A nervous figure in the low strings accompanies a statement of the theme expressed by the violins and violas. This theme, marked cantabile, features one of the dominating rhythms of the movement: a Latin-jazz figure in common time consisting of dotted quarter, dotted quarter, quarter (see Gershwin, Copland and clave books). We are then energetically led to a new section that, while pianissimo, is hardly less spirited. A Presto, tempered by legato triplets, follows. New material appears about halfway through the work, which is first set in a contrasting chorale-like texture, and followed by an exchange of the fragmented melody between the winds and strings. This section resolves directly into the opening atmosphere of brilliance that continues, with only slight respite, to the end.

Vivian Fine's Alcestis was commissioned by Martha Graham, who created the title role. The story is simple and will be familiar to any student of Bulfinch (or Gluck). Alcestis has sacrificed herself to Thanatos (Death) in order that her husband, Admetus, King of Thessaly, might attain immortality. While the house of Admetus mourns her demise, Hercules arrives. As the news of Alcestis' death has been kept from him (for reasons best known to the perpetuators of mythology), Hercules indulges in a heroic, might we say Herculean, bout of feasting and drinking. When he learns, by the careless words of a servant, of her death, he engages mighty Thanatos in combat. Victorious, he returns Alcestis to her husband and her people.

Julia Perry's Short Piece for Orchestra is a volatile work with a brassy opening reminiscent of the Talma Toccata, except that with the introduction, the resemblance ceases. Syncopation, non legatos, accents and a ricochet of percussion lead to an Andante lento, which features the woodwinds and strings in long solo cantilenas. Having caught a breath, the piece accelerandos . . . al . . . Tempo prima and the horns announce the return of the tumultuous opening.

Mabel Daniels' Deep Forest was composed at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Miss Daniels’; comment regarding its genesis also describes the content, form, instrumentation and what-have-you: "It is impossible not to be inspired by the magnificent surroundings at the Colony. I so constantly heard a flute against a background of muted strings, whenever I walked through the woods, that I finally had to put it on paper and, before I knew it, my Prelude had evolved."

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.

Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo

Music of Talma, Fine, Perry, Daniels & Howe

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

Toccata for Orchestra
Louise Talma
Buy
Alcestis: I. Alcestis and Thanatos
Vivian Fine
Buy
Alcestis: II. The Revelling Hercules
Vivian Fine
Buy
Alcestis: III. Battle between Hercules and Thanatos
Vivian Fine
Buy
Alcestis: IV. The Dance of Triumphs and the Rescue of Alcestis
Vivian Fine
Buy
Short Piece for Orchestra
Julia Perry
Buy
Deep Forest
Mabel Daniels
Buy
Spring Pastoral
Mary Howe
Buy