Wolpe: Trio - Crumb: Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL233     Release Date: 2010-08-01
Trio of the Group for Contemporary Music at Columbia University: Harvey Sollberger, Flute; Charles Wuorinen, Piano; Joel Krosnik, Cello
Aeolian Chamber Players: Lewis Kaplan, Violin; David Gilbert, Flute; Lloyd Greenberg, Clarinet; Jacob Maxin, Piano

This Trio, composed in 1963, is an excellent example of Stefan Wolpe's late period. In it may be found more or less traditional constructs merged with contemporary attitudes and orderly harmonic processes and thorough development of material combined with logically discontinuous methods of articulating them. One of Wolpe's techniques is his use of unordered pitch groups which, like a scale in tonal music, function as the source for melodic and harmonic events. In the first movement of this Trio, two groups of four pitches are set off against each other, and are projected in constantly changing rhythms, as lines or chords in large or small compasses. The pitches within each unit are continually being reordered to expose every facet of the group; then, the pitches are interchanged gradually and the groups grow larger in order to arrive at new possibilities. Thus, the classical technique of continuous variation is adapted to contemporary means. But the continuity is not progressive; rather, extreme variants are used with quoted, even cliché material juxtaposed against the unique. This use of what Wolpe calls various "levels of language" permits the realization of the many potentialities inherent in any musical idea. The music, then, is simultaneously economical and extravagant.

The opening of the second movement reflects in detail the totality of the work. The first three phrases are an exposition. Each phrase is constructed traditionally: a referent situation is stated, then varied to become more intense, and then a cadential resolution is defined. For example, the cello states a motive using a core of only three pitches, then varies it and extends it by the addition of new pitches to the field. The variations are so extreme, however, because of their new rhythms and the addition of new intervals, that they create both contrast and continuity simultaneously.

George Crumb's Eleven Echoes Of Autumn, 1965 were composed during the spring of 1966 for the Aeolian Chamber Players (on commission from Bowdoin College). The eleven pieces constituting the work are performed without interruption.

Each of the echi exploits certain timbral possibilities of the instruments. For example, eco 1 (for piano alone) is based entirely on the 5th partial harmonic, eco 2 on violin harmonics in combination with 7th partial harmonics produced on the piano (by drawing a piece of hard rubber along the strings). A delicate aura of sympathetic vibrations emerges in echi 3 and 4, produced in the latter case by alto flute and clarinet playing into the piano strings. At the conclusion of the work the violinist achieves a mournful, fragile timbre by playing with the bow hair completely slack.


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Group for Contemporary Music

Wolpe: Trio - Crumb: Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965

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Track Listing

Trio: Part 1
Stefan Wolpe
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Trio: Part 2
Stefan Wolpe
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 1 - Fantastico
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 2 - Languidamente, quasi lontano
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 3 - Prestissimo
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 4 - Con bravura
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 5 - Cadenza I
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 6 - Cadenza II
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 7 - Cadenza III
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 8 - Feroce, violento
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 9 - Serenamente, quasi lontano
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 10 - Senza misura
George Crumb
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Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965: Eco 11 - Adagio
George Crumb
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