Robert Moevs & Ezra Sims: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL223     Release Date: 2010-07-15
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble: Paul Zukofsky, violin; Jacob Glick, viola; Robert Sylvester, cello; Thomas Nyfenger, flute; Arthur Bloom, clarinet; Donald MacCourt, bassoon; Ralph Froelich, horn; Susan Jolles, harp; Richard Fitz, percussion; Raymond Des Roches, percussion; Howard van Hyning, percussion; Arthur Weisberg, conductor;
Lenox Quartet: Peter Marsh, violin; Delmar Pettys, violin; Paul Hersh, viola; Donald McCall, cello

The following notes were supplied by Robert Moevs.

"Musica Da Camera was written in 1965 at Blackwell's Mills, N. J., for the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Arthur Weisberg. It was first performed at Rutgers where the ensemble is in residence, and then at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, in 1966.

"The character of the music may be suggested by a poetical image of Rilke: . . . das ungewisse Licht von Nachmittagen, in denen man sich furchtete als kind. Rilke is evoking a sense of foreboding, a tension of imminent, unknown danger in the gathering afternoon silence of a park or grove, broken by the sudden cries of a bird. Musica Da Camera was written in surroundings charged with a similar quality.

"There are 12 sections averaging one minute each. The climactic point arrives in Section II when the percussion, which has been growing in importance through the preceding sections, attains the foreground. Sections VIII-XII are pitch inversions, in reverse order, of sections I-V . Sections I and XII arc divided into three parts, mirroring one another in structural detail...

"Variazioni Sopra Una Melodia was written in the Spring of 1961 at the Villa Aurelia of the American Academy in Rome. In spite of the extraordinarily beautiful environment, it was a time of crisis; this music for viola and cello, an outgrowth of crisis, is for me intensely personal. The melody is presented by the viola, but through the participation of a cello commentary it acquires a double aspect. The various intervallic successions produced by this complementary dialogue then are used independently as bases for a series of variations.

"A climactic zone is reached, during which the music begins to proceed in retrograde until the end, when the melody is heard again, also in retrograde. The first and last notes are the same F, which functions as the axis of pitch. The general procedure is similar to, but simpler than that followed in the later Musica Da Camera."

Ezra Sims says:
"I came to a use of microtones not by whim, nor because of an intellectual decision, nor from a desire to be epatant, but of necessity — rather, indeed, against my 'better judgment': what composer wants to add still another obstacle to performance?...

"At one point in the composition of my first quartet, I realized that my "ear" was demanding that an F, sounding against an E, rise a major seventh to a note that was nevertheless not an E. I was delighted but frightened, and I decided to hold off using quarter-tones — until it became obvious I'd have to use them or have nothing to write.


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Various Artists

Robert Moevs & Ezra Sims: Chamber Works

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Track Listing

Musica Da Camera
Robert Moevs
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Variazioni Sopra una Melodia
Robert Moevs
Buy
Third Quartet: I. Rushing
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: II. Quite slow - still and intense
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: III. Fast and furious
Ezra Sims
Buy
Third Quartet: IV. Slow but moving
Ezra Sims
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Third Quartet: V. Calm fluent and graceful
Ezra Sims
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