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Stuart Saunders Smith (b.1948): A River Rose - Music for Violin / Airi Yoshioka, violin with assisting artists

Album Summary

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Hearts, for violin
>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Three for Two, for violin & viola
>Smith, Stuart Saunders : A Gift for Bessie, for violin, bassoon, percussion & piano
>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Minor, for violin
>Smith, Stuart Saunders : River Rose, for violin & vibraphone
>Smith, Stuart Saunders : I've Been Here Before, for violin & piano
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Stuart Saunders Smith (b. 1948) is a confessional composer in the New England tradition. "My music is about my life. I am after the particular, for the revelations of the particular speak to the universal. Composition, for me, is autobiographical. Composing means making sense of my person and personal history. I keep company with myself, and come to understand myself." Minor (2001) and Hearts (2004) - the unaccompanied violin works on this album - offer a Janus-faced comparison of two interrogatory paths. Minor is unifocal, a soliloquy that delves into and elaborates upon a singularity. Hearts, on the other hand, is a series of miniatures that articulates a complex idea by moving from perspective to perspective, like a photographer trying to capture a sculpture by taking pictures of it from many angles. Both works, though, evince the characteristics of Smith's compositional language: free atonality, occasional nods toward the extended triadic harmonies of avant-garde jazz, the intuitive use of pitch cells, and registral displacements that create implied counterpoint and compound melodies within single lines. The four chamber works on this album - Three for Two (1972), A Gift for Bessie (1971), A River Rose (2005), I've Been Here Before (2008) - rely to varying degrees on elements of what Smith calls "music of coexistence" - music where each performer's material is set, but its deployment in time in relation to other performers is not fixed. (Smith has sometimes referred to this practice as writing parts without a score.) The scores for these works do not appear to be especially complex - they look similar to his conventional solo and chamber scores - but by adjusting the synchronic relationships of the performers, Smith creates sounding objects that are breathing, vivid, and complex beyond the confines of intellectualism.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore Co (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-).



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Works Details

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Hearts, for violin
  • Performer: Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2004

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Three for Two, for violin & viola
  • Performers: Maria Lambros (Viola); Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1972

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : A Gift for Bessie, for violin, bassoon, percussion & piano
  • Performers: Sue Heineman (Bassoon); Lee Hinkle (Percussion); John Novacek (Piano); Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1971

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : Minor, for violin
  • Performer: Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : River Rose, for violin & vibraphone
  • Performers: Jose Lacerda (Vibraphone); Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Smith, Stuart Saunders : I've Been Here Before, for violin & piano
  • Performers: John Novacek (Piano); Airi Yoshioka (Violin)
  • Notes: Recital Hall at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, MD (2013-09-28_2013-09-29&2013-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008