|Recorded at Radio City Studios, New York City (1986). Total Time: 76 Minutes.
ZORN: There is an interesting relation between the music here and my extended composition Spillane. Originally created for three 30-minute radio plays produced by Mabou Mines, The Bribe was recorded in the same studio by the same engineer, and utilized a very similar group of musicians.
What we have here is not unlike an extended variation on the earlier piece, with a brooding ambience, moments of lush orchestration, violence, beauty and of course a sly sense of humor. There are even some compositional fragments fleshed out here that were left unused during the final version of Spillane.
In Spillane, the overall arc is kept intact precisely because of the momentum built up by the speed of the successive moments.
The pacing is critical in pieces of this sort and it was clear to me at the time that people who seemed frustrated about these often-complex polyphonic and beautifully sculpted moments passing so quickly were missing the whole point of the overall compositional innovation.
Why didn't I let those sections last longer? Because the piece was Spillane, and any traditional sense of development was being deliberately avoided.
The Bribe is quite a different story. For the most part the music here functions behind dialogue, more like actual soundtrack music.