Jennifer Higdon: An Exaltation of Larks - Scenes from the Poet's Dream; Light Refracted; An Exultation of Larks / Gary Graffman, piano; Todd Palmer, clarinet

Album Summary

>Higdon, Jennifer : An Exaltation of Larks, for string quartet
>Higdon, Jennifer : Scenes from the Poet's Dreams, for piano, left hand & string quartet
>Higdon, Jennifer : Light Refracted, for clarinet, violin, viola, cello & piano
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962) is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award, and is one of the most performed living American composers working today. Ms. Higdon's upcoming work includes an opera on Charles Frazier's book, "Cold Mountain," for Santa Fe Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. This recording features three recent chamber works: In Scenes from the Poet's Dreams (composed for the performers who play it here) the piano left hand (virtuoso Gary Graffman) takes a prominent part in the unfolding of this highly contrasted work, bearing unusually descriptive titles: "Racing Through Stars," "Summer Shimmers Across the Glass of Green Ponds" etc.. Light Refracted is a meditation on light. The composer describes a first movement "that reflects on our inner light, and how we take that light in; and a second movement that is the opposite, our projection of light out to the world." She also writes about An Exultation of Larks: "The first time someone told me that a collection of Larks is called an "Exaltation," I immediately thought, 'What a sound an exaltation of larks must make!'--How to capture the beauty of the idea of exalting and singing? A string quartet seemed perfect!" This disc marks the debut of the Lark Quartet on Bridge.

Expedition Audio Recommended
This new album from Bridge Records confirms the very significant poetic side to the music of American composer Jennifer Higdon... I enjoyed these pieces the first few times I listened to them... But it was after I got a chance to sit down and read the composer's notes about each piece that they really came to life for me... With an understanding of the inspiration, listening to this music is very rewarding... ... read more ...

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
These are three striking tone poems. Written in Higdon's effective brand of modern tonality, the music is accessible and appealing. An Exaltation of Larks (2005) is a string quartet seeking to capture the "extraordinary energy and intensity" of the birds in flight. We get a thoughtful, elegant essay emphasizing soaring aviary confidence free of breathless chaos. The flights are lyrical and confidently joyful, their 16 minutes joyfully wafting in the breeze. It's beautiful - and beautifully played. Scenes from the Poet's Dreams (1999) is a suite for piano quintet (piano left-hand, written for Gary Graffman, who plays it here). The five movements alternate rapid and slow sections. Light Refracted (2002) is a quintet for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano in two movements. 'Inward' is a passionate and often contemplative conversation with a quintessentially domestic scope. 'Outward' is a wild thriller of a scherzo sure to bring the house down. Don't miss this.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters (11/17/2011-11/19/2011).



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Works Details

>Higdon, Jennifer : An Exaltation of Larks, for string quartet
  • Ensemble: Lark String Quartet
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters (11/17/2011-11/19/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Higdon, Jennifer : Scenes from the Poet's Dreams, for piano, left hand & string quartet
  • Performer: Gary Graffman (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters (11/17/2011-11/19/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1999

>Higdon, Jennifer : Light Refracted, for clarinet, violin, viola, cello & piano
  • Performers: Deborah Buck (Violin); Caroline Stinson (Cello); Blair McMillen (Piano); Todd Palmer (Clarinet); Kathryn Lockwood (Viola)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters (11/17/2011-11/19/2011)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2002