|Works by Arthur Berger and Stefan Wolpe
Robert Miller-piano; The Contemporary Chamber Players; Russell Sherman-piano; Rose Mary Harbison-violin
“Comet-like radiance, conviction, fervent intensity, penetrating thought on many levels of seriousness and humor, combined with breathtaking adventurousness and originality, marked the inner and outer life of Stefan Wolpe, as they do his compositions.”—Elliott Carter
Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972) is an acknowledged master of modern music whose oeuvre has had a lasting influence on both classical and jazz musicians. Though receptive to prevailing musical trends, Wolpe was an individualist who forged a unique compositional style which he continued to refine over the years. Form for Piano (1959) and Piece in Two Parts for Solo Violin (1964) are written in his mature style of the late 50s/early 60s—rooted in serial technique but leavened with the qualities cited in Carter’s encomium.
The music of Arthur Berger (b. 1912) is reflective of a different segment of the stylistic spectrum. Musical space, vertical and horizontal, and beauty and balance of sonority are of paramount concern. The two pieces presented here, Five Pieces for Piano (1969), and Septet (1965-66), are examples of his later style, using serial technique as a point of departure to construct intense, atmospheric pieces of a gossamer texture. Important additions to the CD-discography of these two modern masters.