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|The new recording, "Lou Harrison - Works 1939-2000," was largely completed under the composer's supervision and features a delightful sampling of instrumental and vocal works from throughout his career. (It is available online at www.moderecords.com or by special order at record stores.)
The performances are lead by percussionist William Winant, a longtime champion of Harrison's music, and flutist Leta Miller, who is also the co-author, with Frederic Lieberman, of the Harrison biography "Composing a World" (Oxford University Press, 1998).
The disc opens with a handful of lively, French-sounding numbers taken from Harrison's score to a 1949 production of "Marriage at the Eiffel Tower," a ballet originally by Jean Cocteau. The fluent and good-humored writing speaks well of Harrison.
A fondness for percussion meets his long, chantlike melodies in the "Mass to St. Anthony," from 1939, and there is a neo-Renaissance air about "Vestiunt Silve," from 1994, which sets an 11th-century minstrel text for soprano, flute, two violas, and harp.
Most welcome on the disc are three excerpts from Harrison's second opera, "Young Caesar." The piece dates from 1971, but its history is complicated by the composer's penchant for revising his pieces. The recorded aria and a duet were part of an expansion of the work completed in 2000 for a production by the Lincoln Center Festival that was never realized.
--- Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union, Sunday, April 20, 2003
Patrice Maginnis, soprano
Michelle Rivard, contralto
Brian Staufenbiel, tenor
Leta Miller, flutes & piccolo
William Winant, percussion
UCSC Chamber Singers
The California Parallèlle Ensemble
Nicole Paiement, conductor
1-10. Marriage at the Eiffel Tower
(original septet version, 1949) * (14:22)
11-17. The Only Jealousy of Emer (1949) (11:33)
for flutes, cello, bass, tack-piano & celesta
18-20. Arias from "Young Caesar" (2000) * (9:21)
for tenor, soprano & ensemble
21. Music for Remy (1998) * (4:54)
for flute & percussion
22-23. Mass to St. Anthony: Kyrie and Gloria
(original version for chorus & percussion, 1939) * (9:22)
24. Vestiunt Silve (1994) (3:34)
for soprano, flute, 2 violas & harp
25-27. Short Set from "Lazarus Laughed" (1999) * (5:12)
for flute, cello & celesta
28-32. Easter Cantata (1966) * (11:32)
for contralto, tenor, chorus and ensemble
|See all titles featuring Lou Harrison