Various Artists | Bruce Hobson: Piano Trio; Two Lyric Pieces; Clarinet Trio; Three Songs; Cantilena Infinita

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Bruce Hobson: Piano Trio; Two Lyric Pieces; Clarinet Trio; Three Songs; Cantilena Infinita

by Various Artists

Passionate, exciting, rhythmically intense, contemporary classical music. "These are well written pieces….a manner of expression unique to our times….taut powerful music."—Fanfare Magazine
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Piano Trio
Rolf Schulte, John Whitfield & Christopher Oldfather
21:03 album only
2. Lyric Piece No. 1
Margaret Kampmeier
7:05 $0.99
3. Lyric Piece No. 2
Margaret Kampmeier
5:20 $0.99
4. Clarinet Trio, Pt. I
Rolf Schulte, Allen Blustine & Daniel McIntosh
1:53 $0.99
5. Clarinet Trio, Pt. II
Rolf Schulte, Allen Blustine & Daniel McIntosh
2:55 $0.99
6. Clarinet Trio, Pt. III
Rolf Schulte, Allen Blustine & Daniel McIntosh
0:57 $0.99
7. Clarinet Trio, Pt. IV
Rolf Schulte, Allen Blustine & Daniel McIntosh
2:20 $0.99
8. Clarinet Trio, Pt. V
Rolf Schulte, Allen Blustine & Daniel McIntosh
1:16 $0.99
9. Three Songs, No. 1: Spring!may—
Jan Opalach & Gaït Sirguey
2:55 $0.99
10. Three Songs, No. 2: Why from This Her and Him
Jan Opalach & Gaït Sirguey
2:35 $0.99
11. Three Songs, No. 3: Unlove's the Heavenless Hell
Jan Opalach & Gaït Sirguey
3:07 $0.99
12. Cantilena Infinita
Győr Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra & Gergely Kesselyák
19:48 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Fanfare Magazine reviewed this album:

"Hobson is using the tools of his choice to put together expressive, superbly crafted music….From the early [Clarinet] Trio to the latest piece on this disc, [Piano] Trio, Hobson's style recalls the Romantic era….The shapes of the larger phrases and the rubato applied in these performances link Hobson to the 19th century….These are well-written pieces, particularly the Cantilena Infinita.

The [Piano] Trio is bold and ambitious. It often sounds much larger than just three instruments, and yet a clarity of structure is apparent at all times….The music for solo piano is, in subtle ways, some of the most compelling music on this collection….The [Clarinet] Trio is also a work of quiet charms, producing supple clusters of sound from the beguiling combination of violin, clarinet, and cello….Cantilena Infinita is a fine example of a manner of expression that is unique to our times, speaking a language…that expresses a point of view that Mozart could not have known...taut, powerful music."

The composer writes:

The lyrical foundation of my Piano Trio for violin, cello, and piano is proclaimed in the forte opening measures of the violin. Composed in a single movement of 20 minutes, this work is divided into three sections that represent a gigantic expansion of the rhythm and expressive shape of the opening violin melody. Each large section is delineated by its own tempo and texture: moderate with trills or changing note tremolos, faster with staccato double stops or doubled figures, and finally, slow with repeated notes. Local rhythms, phrases, and midsize sections are also expressive derivations of the original eight note violin theme. Completed in 1990, the Piano Trio was first performed in November of that year in New York City by the Guild of Composers.

In his New York Times review of the first of my Two Lyric Pieces for piano, Allen Hughes observed that it "sounded as though it had resulted from the composer's genuine desire to write music that would evoke emotive response." This 1977 work opens and closes with a long dramatic melody that is the basis for a series of surging variations that change the musical texture of the melody as they build steadily to a climax and subsequent peaceful ending.

The homophonic beginning of the second Lyric Piece presents a slow majestic theme whose chordal accompaniment is immediately separated from it contrapuntally with the chords moving at a slower speed. A two-part counterpoint of chordal and melodic versions of the melody is exchanged between the hands as the rhythmic activity intensifies. Melody begins to dominate the two-part texture with giant, heroic leaps that finally collide and culminate in a ferocious mid-range chord.

After its composition in 1966, the Clarinet Trio was first performed at the New England Conservatory in 1967. Written for violin, clarinet, and cello, the piece brings together five short parts or movements with very different and distinct characteristics. The first expands each instrument's opening phrase through ornamentation; the second, Lento, moves from an agitated mist to lyric clarity while gradually assembling the closing melody from intervallic fragments and phrase segments; the third is a high speed fugal chase; the melody and accompaniment texture of the fourth repeats the melody unchanged while the accompaniment is extensively varied; and the fifth is a motivic collage that gradually shifts emphasis from one motive to another.

In looking for love poems to set to music before composing my Three Songs, I found many contemporary poems by various poets that described sexuality but few that combined emotion with sensuality. The poems of e. e. cummings that I was pleased to find for setting portray a strong connection between affection and lovemaking. The music is composed to emphasize and strengthen this connection. The Three Songs received their first performance in a 1988 Guild of Composers concert in New York City.

The final and perhaps most ambitious work on this disc is the Cantilena Infinita, which is receiving both its world premiere performance and first recording here. The voluptuous, cantabile statement of the theme by the flute begins the piece and establishes the dramatic framework of what follows. As in the Piano Trio, the large sections correspond to a tremendous expansion of the exact rhythm and inferred expressive contour of the opening cantilena. In contrast to the Piano Trio, the Cantilena's many sections have assumed more of the characteristics of a traditional theme and variation format, although here the music is through composed and performed without pauses. The continuous, goal directed motion is relaxed throughout the piece by a generous sprinkling of fermatas at dramatic high points and low points. The harmonic language of this and the other pieces on this disc is conceived as a highly chromatic extension of tonality. In the Cantilena, this can be heard from the opening to the glorious A-flat eleventh chord of the climax (at 15:10 in this recording) and the soothing repose of the E-minor ninth chord of the ending.



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