Yvonne TROXLER(b.1962) Brouhaha Penn 1, for flute, bass flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone
and piano (2006/2011) [8:15] Shergotty, for three percussionists (2004/2011) [9:32] Brouhaha, for violin, cello and three glass bowl players
(2010) [11:24] Susurrus, for viola, cello and piano (2011) [7:00] Kaleidoskop, for tenor saxophone, electric guitar, percussion
and piano (2005) [6:34]
Glass Farm Ensemble
rec. Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, 25-28 July 2011; Ovation
Sound, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 25 August 2007 (Kaleidoskop).
INNOVA 835 [42:50]
This is the first CD devoted to the music of Swiss-born, New
York-based composer Yvonne Troxler. Troxler is also pianist
for the Glass Farm Ensemble, the new music group she founded
in 2000. Their own debut appeared on the same label in 2008
(Innova 700), a disc which also starred this recording of Troxler's
The CD bears the title 'Brouhaha', but in Innova's words, Troxler's
music is "Not as chaotic as it sounds". In fact, the five works
are predominantly slow-moving and reflective. The electric guitar
in Kaleidoskop must be the most tastefully subtle deployment
of the instrument in art music. Its final section apart, Shergotty
sounds distinctly extemporised by the three players with their
various percussion instruments. The impact is pleasant and there
is some rhythmic excitement in the final movement. In Brouhaha,
the title seems as though it must be ironic, although with the
later appearance of ball bearings being rolled around inside
glass bowls, some volume is generated - to mesmerising effect.
Penn 1 takes its name from a commercial building in New
York, of all things. Troxler writes that the work is inspired
by musical noise generated by cities. Some listeners will doubtless
hear it as merely that, even though it is far from chaotic or
cacophonous. Yet the unusual scoring injects strong, saturated
colour into an already vivid piece. The same can be said of
Susurrus, another work whose title seems to be somewhat
at odds with the music, which is often dark and tempestuous.
Incidentally, as single track pieces Susurrus and Penn
1, probably the two best works on the disc, can be downloaded
from iTunes for a dollar each - a cost-effective way for the
curious listener to begin to explore Troxler's imaginative and
worthwhile music. As an album, there is no denying the poor
deal as far as playing time is concerned, though the retail
price is widely lower than the $15 indicated on Innova's website.
Engineering quality is superb. The CD case is a simple folded
card affair, the disc sliding in between the two layers of the
back cover. Information about the works and a brief composer
bio are printed straight onto the card. There is nothing on
the Glass Farm Ensemble. The complete liner-notes can be read
for free here.
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