Robert Hall Lewis / Frank Ahrold
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL389     Release Date: 2011-02-15
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Robert Hall Lewis, conductor; Philip Langridge, tenor; London Symphony Orchestra; Harold Farberman, conductor Robert Hall Lewis' Nuances II was commissioned by the National Whale Symposium held at the University of Indiana in November, 1975. The work was composed in Baltimore, Barcelona, Nice and Paris during the summer of that year, and was given its first performance by the University of Indiana Symphony Orchestra with the composer conducting. Lewis has stated that this composition reveals stylistic tendencies which first appeared in his Second Symphony (1971) and were further developed in a series of works entitled Combinazioni and Osservazioni. In these more recent compositions, melodic material is often integrated with novel sound elements, two or more areas in different tempi may occur simultaneously, and subtle dynamic and textural gradations become essential features of the music. In the slow second movement, a theme and four variations, humpback whale sounds become an integral part of the variation process. Excerpts of whale "songs" recorded near Bermuda by Dr. Roger Payne of the New York Zoological Society are presented in the more extended third variation as well as in the final measures of the movement. The composer has said that while the inclusion of whale sounds was not a condition of the commission, he soon became aware of the expressive potential of this material. A variation consisting of quiet masses of strings and wind tremolo figures evolved after considerable thought to create the atmosphere for the taped whale "songs." Bowed percussion instruments accompany these sounds in the concluding measures. Frank Ahrold writes: “Second Coming was written on a commission from the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, and received its world premiere on November 14, 1972, with Harold Farberman conducting. It was taped by the London Symphony Orchestra in 1975. It is a large work for dramatic tenor and full orchestra based on three poems of W.B. Yeats. Though written at different times in the poet's life, the poems share a central theme of social upheaval and anarchy leading to the inevitable collapse of civilization and the arts. In 1972 as I composed the music, much of the world was enmeshed in war, and the poetry seemed to me both a prophetic reflection and a warning... “In 1968, the newly appointed conductor of the Long Beach Symphony, Alberto Bolet, suggested that I write a work for the orchestra. The result was a Concerto for Strings which was given its premiere on January 17, 1971. The Song Without Words is the adagio movement of the Concerto. It is tonally conceived and monothematic, consisting of a twelve- tone melodic utterance of descending notes first heard in solo violin. This is counterpoised by a rising triadic figure, and punctuated with a persistent rhythmic pulsation. The music is contrapuntal, and filled with chromaticisms and dissonances that underscore its melancholy character.” 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

Robert Hall Lewis / Frank Ahrold

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FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Nuances II "Whale Lament": I. Adagio - Allegro Moderato
Robert Hall Lewis
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Nuances II "Whale Lament": II. Andante Espressivo
Robert Hall Lewis
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Nuances II "Whale Lament": III. Allegro Moderato - Adagio
Robert Hall Lewis
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Second Coming
Frank Ahrold
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Song Without Words
Frank Ahrold
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