William Sydeman & Ramiro Cortés: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL181     Release Date: 2010-06-01
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Paul Zukofsky solo violin; Charles McCracken solo cello; Arthur Weisberg, conductor

Concerning the works recorded here, William Sydeman informs us as follows:

“The formal design of (Music for Flute, Viola, Guitar and Percussion) is marked by alternations between swift flowing allegro sections and dramatic recitatives for viola and flute. Both of these elements are first briefly presented, then developed and expanded. The central portion of the work is an extended allegro building to a big climax, from which the final viola cadenza evolves then subsides into a simple duet with flute. The ending is a sudden burst of sound that derives precisely from the very opening bar.”

Regarding the Concerto da camera No. 2, Mr. Sydeman tells us:

“The conception underlying the work is assuredly on a grand scale, not so much in terms of length (it runs slightly less than fifteen minutes), but rather in the nature of thematic materials employed and in the sweeping phrase lengths. As opposed to the miniscule ‘post-Webern’ cellular sound style, the Concerto da camera No. 2 demands comprehension over a broad span — a span that makes almost for a twentieth century counterpart to Wagner’s endlos Melodie. This aspect of the music is most in evidence during the last forty bars, which amount to a cadenza built on two enormous phrases.

“The work begins with a short introduction that leads directly to a precipitous allegro in two sections: the first angry and aggressive the second delicate and lyrical. The following Presto movement is made up of a long, generally quiet line carried in the upper register of the solo violin and accompanied by fleeting commentary from the other instruments. The last movement draws on material from the introduction (two major tenths a whole step apart) and generates a set of four variations, the last of which is the aforementioned dramatic cadenza.”

Says Ramiro Cortés of his Chamber Concerto,

“It is in one extended movement with a solo ’cello introduction. The term ‘Concerto’ in the title is used in the sense of a composition in which a solo instrument is contrasted with a combined force. The idea of the individual against the mass will also serve here. This ‘mass’ is represented by the combined efforts of the wind instruments (2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, and trombone) in a bold statement at the onset of the allegro that follows the ’cello-dominated adagio introduction. This statement is used in ritornello fashion -  as with anything ‘returned to’ in music -  throughout the composition, and also to close the piece. There are several distinct themes which are developed in variation form, some serial technique also being employed. However, the attempt has been made to maintain a tonal structure for the composition as a whole.”



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 vinyl-only back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc. Please refer to the liner notes for information about the program.

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Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

William Sydeman & Ramiro Cortés: Chamber Works

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CD $12.99

Track Listing

Music for Flute, Viola, Guitar, and Percussion
William Sydeman
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Concerto da Camera No. 2: I. Allegro
William Sydeman
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Concerto da Camera No. 2: II. Molto Allegro
William Sydeman
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Concerto da Camera No. 2: III. Presto
William Sydeman
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Concerto da Camera No. 2: IV. Moderato
William Sydeman
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Chamber Concerto
Ramiro Cort̩s
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