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Fred Lerdahl, Vol. 4 - Spirals, Three Diatonic Studies, Imbrication, Wake, Fantasy Etudes; Mirka Vitala, piano; Bethany Beardslee, soprano

Audio Samples

>Lerdahl, Fred : Spirals, for orchestra
>Lerdahl, Fred : Diatonic studies (3) for piano
>Lerdahl, Fred : Imbrications, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion & piano
>Lerdahl, Fred : Wake
>Lerdahl, Fred : Fantasy Etudes for instrumental ensemble

Album Summary

>Lerdahl, Fred : Spirals, for orchestra
>Lerdahl, Fred : Diatonic studies (3) for piano
>Lerdahl, Fred : Imbrications, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion & piano
>Lerdahl, Fred : Wake
>Lerdahl, Fred : Fantasy Etudes for instrumental ensemble
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Volume 4 of Bridge's Fred Lerdahl series offers music composed over a span of four decades. Three recent pieces, Spirals, Three Diatonic Studies, and Imbrications, are recorded here for the first time and two earlier works, Wake and Fantasy Etudes, are re-issues. Spirals is scored for an orchestra of double woodwinds, two horns, two trumpets, percussion, piano, and strings. The two movements are of equal length, the first fast and brilliant, the second slow and lyrical. Three Diatonic Studies originated in a commission from the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival to write a variation based on the "Aria" of Bach's Goldberg Variations. Lerdahl later added two other diatonic studies to form the present suite. The brief Imbrications was written in 2001 in honor of the composer Andrew Imbrie's 80th birthday. The inspiration for Wake came from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. The work was composed at the request of the legendary soprano Bethany Beardslee and was composed while Lerdahl was in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival. Lerdahl composed Fantasy Etudes in 1985. The piece is in one movement and is scored, like Imbrications, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano. The stunning performance here is by three-time Grammy-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird. Fred Lerdahl's music is highly esteemed for having developed original harmonic syntaxes and formal processes, presented with expressive depth.

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
Volume 4 in Bridge's revelatory Lerdahl series. Spirals (2006) is a chamber orchestra piece in two movements. The sizzling I is an intense, scintillating affair with intricate development as a result of Lerdahl's developing-variation technique. Three Diatonic Studies (2009) for piano is a result of a commission involving fresh variations of the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations. Imbrications (2001) is a short piece for Andrew Imbrie's 80th birthday, scored for a sextet of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano. Wake from an ancient DG Acoustic Research LP from the late 60s, paired with a Charles Wuorinen violin piece. The Fantasy Etudes (1985) have the same scoring as Imbrications, and that sextet is actually the same grouping employed by the great chamber group Eighth Blackbird, who released it on their debut CD.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (01/31/1970); Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Koncerthus, Odense, Denmark (01/31/1970); Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (01/31/1970); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (05/2012); Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Koncerthus, Odense, Denmark (05/2012); Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (05/2012); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (1999); Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Koncerthus, Odense, Denmark (1999); Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (1999); American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, NY (2010); Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Koncerthus, Odense, Denmark (2010); Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (2010).



Reviews

Spirals in Form
Volume Four in Bridge Records' ongoing Fred Lerdahl series features works from different stages of the composer's career. And what an interesting career its been!

Wake, a setting of Finnagin's Wake, was Lerdahl's first major composition. Finished in 1968, it's Lerdahl at his most atonal. Written (and performed here) by Bethany Beardslee, Wake is a jagged, spikey work that moves along like an wobbly wheel, threatening to spin out of control at any moment.

Fantasy Studies, a 1985 work commissioned and performed by eighth blackbird shows how much Lerdahl's own compositional voice developed. Rather than academic serialism, Lerdahl uses his concept of spiral development, continually revisiting motives that fold back on themselves.

The third major work included is Spirals, a 2006 orchestral composition. Here the linear nature of Fantasy Studies is replaced by sound clouds -- further developing his idea of spiral forms. The music wavers and flows, groups of instruments interweaving with each other in fascinating ways.

Some smaller -- but no less appealing -- works round out the release. There Diatonic Studies (2009) bubble along, proving that just using the white keys doesn't always result in bland music. Imbrications (2001) is more aggressive, with noodly lines working with and against each other in a sparkling mixture.
Submitted on 08/13/13 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Lerdahl, Fred : Spirals, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Scott Yoo
  • Running Time: 19 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Lerdahl, Fred : Diatonic studies (3) for piano
  • Performer: Mirka Viitala (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2004

>Lerdahl, Fred : Imbrications, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion & piano
  • Conductor: Michel Galante
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2001

>Lerdahl, Fred : Wake
  • Performer: Bethany Beardslee (Soprano)
  • Conductor: David Epstein
  • Running Time: 15 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1967

>Lerdahl, Fred : Fantasy Etudes for instrumental ensemble
  • Ensemble: eighth blackbird
  • Running Time: 13 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985