Currier’s trio Verge
was inspired by the title of a piece from
Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Almost
too serious, so that each of the nine
short movements of this piece bears an "almost"
indication, e.g. the eighth movement Almost
too little lasting 28 seconds! The nine
movements are divided into cycles of three,
each beginning with a pair of movements opposing
each other. A beautifully crafted piece full
of contrast and variety.
Joan Tower is a relatively
familiar name and her music has already been
recorded on several occasions. Her Rain
Waves colourfully "explores the
notion of a wave form".
I Got Variations by
William Brohn is a short set of variations
on Gershwin’s own Variations on "I
Got Rhythm". An unpretentious
and entertaining work.
Dan Welcher’s trio Phaedrus
reflects on Plato’s discourse about the Appollonian
and the Dionysian in that the first movement
Apollo’s Lyre has a songlike quality
whereas the second movement Dionysus’ Dream-Orgy
is a lively dance. The piece, however, does
not aim at philosophy for the debate (as far
as Welcher is concerned) is still unresolved.
It is just a fine piece of music.
John Biggs’ Renaissance
Bouquet is based on Renaissance pieces
by Dufay, Byrd, Gibbons and on anonymous Renaissance
tunes, some of which will again be familiar,
such as Watkins Ale. Another delightful
set of miniatures of great charm.
In his humorous introduction
to his piece, Charles Hoag recalls how his
initiation to ragtime came from listening
to his father playing ragtimes on "that
dubious instrument, the ukulele". So,
[sic, and in one word please],
to give this short piece its full title, is
a slightly tongue-in-cheek evocation of and
homage to Joplin and ragtime. It provides
this interesting collection with a unbuttoned,
Again, this release (Volume
13 of CRYSTAL-Verdehr on-going series The
Making of a Medium) is another well planned
and magnificently played cross-section of
works especially written for the Verdehr Trio
by American composers from various musical
horizons. There is much to admire and to enjoy
also American Images 1