Paul Chihara / Henry Cowell
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL386     Release Date: 2010-02-15

Mirecourt Trio: Kenneth Goldsmith, violin; Terry King, Cello; John Jensen, piano

Paul Chihara writes:

“This Piano Trio was composed in 1974 for the Mirecourt Trio, who first performed it at Carnegie Recital Hall on February 3, 1975. The Elegy, which is intended as a companion piece to the Trio, was written in memory of my father, who gave me my first violin lesson, and encouraged me to be a musician.”

This recording contains Henry Cowell's only available cello works. The Hymn and Fuguing Tune is the ninth in his series of neo-Baroque compositions conceived as “something slow followed by something fast.” The specific musical materials came from the British Isles via rural American hymnody. Cowell combines the modal style of the ballad tunes that were appropriated for hymns with the fuguing idea associated with Billings and other colonial American composers.

The Four Declamations with Return is a miniature declaration of spontaneous pleasure in the beautiful Guarnerius cello acquired by Seymour Barab in 1949. Barab spent an evening demonstrating the instrument's special beauties and difficulties to several friends, most of them composers. Lou Harrison gleefully wrote a piece designed to “sound” only on this particular instrument, a piece that he declared would be unimpressive or even impossible on any other; most of the other composers wrote cello pieces for Barab soon thereafter, too. Henry Cowell wrote this one that same evening, for Barab to play with their friend William Masselos.

Gravely and Vigorously is for unaccompanied cello. Mrs. Cowell writes:

“Word of President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963 reached Mr. Cowell late in the day because he never played the radio. It seems to have sent him at once to score paper and pen in the New York City apartment. The streets were empty and the city was literally silent. A sad little sign on the grocery door said: 'President dead. Gone home.'...

“During that long November afternoon Mr. Cowell fiddled inexpertly from time to time with our tiny radio in the fruitless hope that the news would be contradicted. He worked on his piece into the small hours of the morning, which is why it bears the date “November 23rd,” since he normally dated a piece (when he dated it at all) from the day he finished it.



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.***

Terry King

Paul Chihara / Henry Cowell

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

Track Listing

Piano Trio
Paul Chihara
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Elegy
Paul Chihara
Buy
Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 9
Henry Cowell
Buy
Four Declamations with Return
Henry Cowell
Buy
Gravely and Vigorously: Gravely
Henry Cowell
Buy
Gravely and Vigorously: Vigorously
Henry Cowell
Buy