Sydney Hodkinson, John Heiss, Chinary Ung
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL363     Release Date: 2011-01-15
William Albright, organ; Speculum Musicae: Nancy Elan, violin; Louise Schulman, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Paul Lustig Dunkel, flute; Virgil Blackwell, clarinet; Donald MacCourt, bassoon; Louis Ranger, trumpet; John T. Clark, horn; Porter Poindexter, trombone; Stephen Johns, tuba; Richard Fitz, Conductor; Barbara Ann Martin, soprano; Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; George Haas, oboe; Kenneth Hosley, percussion; Susan Jolles, harp; Gilbert Kalish, piano; Susan Palma Nidel, flute; Joseph Passaro, percussion; David Starobin, guitar; Arthur Weisberg, Conductor

Sydney Hodkinson writes:

“Stravinsky is reputed to have said one of the problems with the pipe organ was that it 'never breathes,' and as is true with many other composers, I avoided this King of Instruments for many years. In fact, a 1969 commission from William Albright lay fallow in my mind until 1972 — a period when I found myself fascinated by prehistoric megaliths. At some point, my visions of the vast ceremonial ruins — Stonehenge - Tenochtitlan – Knossos - Angkor Wat — translated themselves into static, frozen musical sounds. The very quality that Stravinsky complained about seemed ideally suited to this vision.

John Heiss writes:

“Inventions, Contours and Colors was commissioned by the Berkshire Music Center and Fromm Music Foundation. The three-choir nature of the ensemble (string-wind-brass) is a fundamental conception. Expressive melodic writing at the opening gives way to more sharply contrasted outbursts and extended textures (string pizzicatos, flowing woodwind lines, brass flourishes). A 'chorale' idea, heard first in the brasses and later in the strings, develops in quieter passages; it stands in opposition to the more intense polyphonic sections which cannot seem to get anywhere. Toward the end, opening material returns briefly, several harmonies implied during the work achieve full focus in four bold chords, and the expressive solo voices have the last word, reaching a culmination in their final, evaporating sonorities.”

Mohori is a Khmer term for the chamber orchestra of the royal palace, made up of voice plus wind, string and percussion instruments. The term also refers to a legendary bird, Sat Mohori, a figure in traditional Khmer folksong. In this work, the use of Khmer phonetic is meant neither to escape from words nor to block the listener's thoughts, but rather to create the diffuse emotional state of the compositional process. The interjection of “hai-oe” is used for emphasis by Khmer singers, both the palace singers and those among the commune people in the fields. Mohori has been described by Chinary Ung in these words:

“Lyricism in a linear perspective is the generator in the composition of Mohori. Its creating process focuses on, at a certain given point in time and space, the lay-out of selected floating sound materials to lighten a world of textural timbre and to evoke a sense of atmospheric oneness. It is an attempt to depict the drama of life.”

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. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Sydney Hodkinson, John Heiss, Chinary Ung

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print material or jewel case included.
A *.pdf of the notes may be accessed here free of charge.
   Liner Notes

Track Listing

Megalith Trilogy: I. Dolmen
Sydney Hodkinson
Megalith Trilogy: II. Menhir
Sydney Hodkinson
Megalith Trilogy: III. Talayot
Sydney Hodkinson
Inventions, Contours and Colors
John Heiss
Chinary Ung