Episode #2687

Music for Large Ensembles

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

For this New Sounds, listen to some large-scale works by Lou Harrison and John Adams, among others. First of all, we'll hear Harrison's Solstice, a 30-minute drama depicting the struggle between the new year and the old, represented by the Sun Lion (the warmth of summer) and the Moon Bull (the dark days of winter ushered in by the December solstice). For this work, Harrison created a gamelan orchestra sound by combining celesta and tack-piano, joined by a double bass player beating up the instrument. Plus, there's the Finale of John Adams' Violin Concerto on the show. Throwing aside the usual dialogue between soloist and orchestra, Adams instead has the violin constantly weaving in and out of the orchestra like some kind of daredevil in traffic. Also, there's music by Colin McPhee and Tan Dun.

PROGRAM #2687, Western Music, Eastern Echoes (First aired on Wednesday, 6/13/07)





Harrison/Ung/ McPhee

American Composers Orchestra

Colin McPhee: Tabuh- Tabuham: Ostinatos [7:30]

Argo #444 560
Out of print, but the piece has also been recorded and released on CBC 5181, Chandos 10111 Try for any of the three.

Lou Harrison

In Retrospect

Solstice: Part One [13:00]

New World #80666**

Harrison/Ung/ McPhee

American Composers Orchestra

Colin McPhee: Tabuh- Tabuhan: Finale [6:30]

See above.


Violin Concertos

John Adams: Violin Concerto, Finale -Toccare [7:30]

Telarc #80494 **

Tan Dun

Symphony 1997

Earth [9:30]

Sony Classical #63368**

Comments [1]

Michael Gould from Bedford Hills, NY

Dear Mr. Schaefer,
I had occassion to listen to your show on June 27, 2009 @ 11:00PM (Program #2687). I really enjoyed the Adams Violin Concerto (Finale). At it's end however, while you were announcing the next piece there was a string composition in the background that didn't last very long (about 45:15 seconds into the show ending @ 45:24 seconds). I think it might have been a Glass composition, but am not sure. Would you be able to identify that "cut" for me? I would certainly appreciate it.
Michael Gould

Jul. 01 2009 05:31 PM

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