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Nameless: Chamber & vocal works by Matthew Greenbaum (b.1950) / Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Miranda Cuckson, violin

Notes & Reviews:

Furious Artisans marks the first recording of works devoted to composer Matthew Greenbaum (b. 1950). The album starts off with the canonic Venerable Canons, for flute & violin. Wild Rose, Lily, Dry Vanilla sets a revealing bit of Emerson's nature poetry. Chaconne by Attrition, written for and performed by Miranda Cuckson is a virtuosic solo work that exposes some of Greenbaum's favorite textures. The album culminates with the epic Nameless, described by the composer as a work of Jewish sacred music, that features three sopranos, the Momenta String Quartet and the Cygnus Ensemble.

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
Matthew Greenbaum's melodies bounce back and forth between instruments, creating a web of counterpoint that can act as a kind of aural illusion. His four Venerable Canons for flute and violin sound as though they could be for four different instruments. Pizzicatos and bowed strokes alternate with long and short notes on the flute, trading back and forth seamlessly. Of course, as the title indicates, these pieces are canons, so there is an added echo effect in addition to the articulation and gestures of his phrasing. The term klangfarbenmelodie, most often applied to some music of Schoenberg and Webern. Greenbaum's style is much more playful. The title piece on the record, Nameless, is for considerably larger forces - three sopranos and two chamber groups. It is also much longer than the other works - nearly half an hour. Greenbaum's approach works well over a longer form and with added voices.


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