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Lou Harrison: Scenes from Cavafy

Album Summary

>Harrison, Lou : Scenes from Cavafy, for baritone, male chorus, harp & Javanese Gamelan
>Harrison, Lou : Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan
>Harrison, Lou : A Soedjatmoko Set, for female voice, mixed voices & Javanese Gamelan
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Lou Harrison's long-term love affair with the Indonesian gamelan had its roots in a course he took from Henry Cowell in the spring of 1935. As Harrison refined his understanding of traditional gamelan procedures during the 1980s, he began to transfer these compositional ideas to works for Western instruments. At the same time, Harrison continued to compose for the Indonesian ensemble itself, indulging a fascination for Asia that had been part of his life since his youth while simultaneously bringing this fascination into close interaction with his Western musical training. He simply found in gamelan music some of the most beautiful sounds he could imagine and he hastened to add these sounds to his toolbox of compositional resources as an extension of his personal artistic voice. In so doing, he honored the culture that had inspired him, and offered his works as an admiration for its artistic products.

This is the world-premiere recording of these three major works in authoritative performances by Gamelan Pacifica, which had a long association with the composer, performing and giving the Northwest premieres of all his major works for gamelan.

"The second movement [of the Concerto], in particular, is as imposing as a head on Easter Island and it is fascinating to discover how Harrison creates familiar moods and emotions while he speaks in an unfamiliar language...The Concerto and Scenes from Cavafy are particularly impressive...If you're not averse to a little adventure, this CD is recommended."-International Record Review

"These pieces are examples of Lou Harison's mature work for gamelan ensemble in the 80's. All of them are ambitious and substantial, performed expertly by this well - schooled Seattle based ensemble...Listeners with a taste for the exotic should investigate."-American Record Guide

"The second movement [of the Concerto], in particular, is as imposing as a head on Easter Island and it is fascinating to discover how Harrison creates familiar moods and emotions while he speaks in an unfamiliar language...The Concerto and Scenes from Cavafy are particularly impressive...If you're not averse to a little adventure, this CD is recommended." -International Record Review

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington (02/21/2010); London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington (03/30/2009/05/30/2009).



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Works Details

>Harrison, Lou : Scenes from Cavafy, for baritone, male chorus, harp & Javanese Gamelan
  • Performer: John Duykers (Tenor)
  • Notes: London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington (03/30/2009-03/21/2010)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/09/1980

>Harrison, Lou : Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan
  • Performer: Adrienne Varner (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1986-1987

>Harrison, Lou : A Soedjatmoko Set, for female voice, mixed voices & Javanese Gamelan
  • Performer: Jessika Kenney (Voice)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 12/1989