7 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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CANADIAN John Etacio -

CANADIAN John Etacio - Frenerg) Edmonton Smphony Orche here, completely sewre in her wide-ranging lechnique ... ·one of lhe ... finesl bassoon recilals I have been lucky eoough to review. Steven Ritter. The Amencan Record Guide, Sept.I Oct 2004 • .gorgeous recording Jactson performs rt au w.!h effonless l'llUSicaity and integnty, making the bassoon sound like a human votee. Tamata stelfl NatlOflal Post, Mol!day. June 21. 2004 IE!:DI T Yl!ll!&m.!i Fantasias Order online: ww DECEMAEK 1 2004 - FEBRUARY 7 2005

Remember Your Poll'er is an hourlong septet (three winds. 1hree s1rings. piano) whose 1hree movements an: separately titled .. The Call.- "Remember Your Power:· and '"Re1urn - In a program essay . 1he composer acknowledges the intluence of a collaborating music therapist as well as a mythologist and recem expens in "Lhe rela1ionship of sound and consciousness." Researching one therapeutic meLhod. Burke says he formed a "notion of developing music expressly for this purpose, which otherwise uses recorded classics that unfold in conventional ways. - Though experienced by its first audience on yoga ma1s, Remember Your Power has little in common with 1he therapists' soolhing or feel-good repertoire. Its contempla1ive continuity is fresh and challenging: the composer pursues his intentions with deep seriousness. Morton Feldman's music for the Ro1hko Chapel in Houston comes to mind, as does Karlheinz Stockhausen's Stimrmmg (in the long crystal-gong coda). Listening while sitting up (rather than, as recommended. prone), you can approach the piece as you might almost any fully developed instrumental music in the modern 1radition. Permutations of a fournote chord knit the stray strands of 1he first movement; in the second. a piano gesrure. like the wave of a wand, punc1uates a series of slow sta1ements by subsections of the ensemble; in the third, quasi-vocal fragments suggestive of yearning evolve imo a long stretch of cluster 1remolos, changing colour imperceptibly. The exiraordinary tiveminute coda. based solely on overtones of that gong, may work beuer if you' re prone on a mat. The performing ensemble is first-rate. Jane Hayes, in the crucial piano role. is especially persuasive. Burke's Quartet. 1995 winner of the Jules Leger Prize. is a short one-movement work whose intensity and energy seem to develop na1urally from 1he instruments' open strings. Burke mostly 1reats 1he players as contributors to a sound-mass rather than as indinduals. John Beckwith Selected Works, 1961-1969 James Tenney New World Records 80570 James Tenney - Postal Pieces The Barton Workshop; James Fulkerson, director New World Records 80612-2 "When John Cage, who s1udied wi1h Schoenberg. was asked in 1989 who he would srud) v. ith if he were young today. he replit!d: 'Jamt!S Tennt!y' .. . The quote is from Kyle Gann's seminal book on twen1ieth century American music. 11 's a fine index of where Tenney's innova1ions rank in con- 1emporary composition. It was Canada's very good foriune 1ha1 Tenney spent 1976-2000 1eaching at York University. Recorded music by . . America's mos1 famous unknown composer". to borrow Larry Polansky·s apt phrase. has been shamefully sparse. New World Records has closed an irnponam pan of the gap. "Selec1ed Works·· covers the electronic compositions of Tenney·s early years at Bell Laboratories. He was the firs1 composer 10 systematically employ Max Mathews' pioneering music soflware. MPostal Pieces . . focuses on instrumental music composed during Tenney·s·first year teaching at CalArts. 1970-71. The transition from digital composing on mainframes to twirling knobs on 1he university's analogue symhesizers was not attractive and so Tennc::y turned his attention t0 extracting WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 83

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