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Emi Ferguson, Doug Balliett, Blair McMillen & Counter)induction | Elliott Schwartz: Remembering David: Echo Variations

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Elliott Schwartz: Remembering David: Echo Variations

by Emi Ferguson, Doug Balliett, Blair McMillen & Counter)induction

Figurations, variations, extensions, inspirations, echoes, and memories, these recordings by Elliott Schwartz were his last composer-supervised studio sessions, made with great care to celebrate his 80th birthday in 2016.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Divertimento No. 4
Emi Ferguson, Doug Balliett & Blair McMillen
12:32 $0.99
clip
2. Remembering David: Echo Variations
Counter)induction, Benjamin Fingland, Robert Burkhart, Karl Kramer-Johansen & Jacob Rhodebeck
17:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Track 1
Elliott Schwartz, composer: Divertimento No. 4 (1980) for flute, contrabass and piano, was composed for bassist Lucas Drew and the Contemporary Baroque Trio, who first performed the work in Miami, Florida, and also gave the New York premiere at Carnegie Recital Hall, later that year. Subsequent performances have included Los Angeles, Cologne, Mannheim, Paris and London. Although the Divertimento takes the surface form of a "suite" of contrasting movements (many of which are connected), it is actually a series of variations and extensions -- all derived from the catchy tonal phrase heard in the concluding "Rondo" section.

Track 2
Elliott Schwartz, composer: Remembering David: Echo Variations (2012) for Clarinet, Horn, Cello, Piano, and Recorded Sounds. The audio sounds that wash in and out of the instrumental texture were created by the composer and sound artist David Gamper (1945-2011). The electroacoustic work was written for the Bowdoin International Music Festival as a memorial to David Gamper, who had been a student, colleague, and friend of the composer.

Dave was a highly versatile musician: instrumentalist, singer (a founding member of the Bowdoin Bachelors vocal group) and a gifted composer with a strong interest in electronic technology. At his graduation in 1967, Dave donated his own personal studio to Bowdoin; it became the foundation for the college’s first electronic music studio. He went on to a distinguished career as composer, sound engineer, multi-media artist with his photographer wife Gisela, and founding member, with Pauline Oliveros and Stuart Dempster, of the Deep Listening Band.

The “theme” for the variations is a musical spelling of David’s name, the instrumentation was chosen because David played clarinet and cello; in addition, his Bowdoin senior-year honors project was a work for solo horn and tape delay system. He was always interested in “echo” effects, loops and ostinati. Schwartz has woven together recordings of musical fragments – most but not all of them from 1960s synthesizer sounds – created by Dave when he was an undergraduate. The composer noted that he felt the sense of collaboration with Gamper on this piece, together as a duo of sorts, separated by more than 40 years.

You will hear a few quotations from J. S. Bach, as the composer selected phrases from the cello suites, which both Elliott and Dave enjoyed. There is also a fragment of a Brandenburg Concerto, and brief reference to the Lutheran Chorale that Alban Berg quoted in his violin concerto (a memorial piece itself). The composer uses the appearance of the latter hymn tune to explore two other hymns of his own choosing.

Many thanks to Jonas Kahn and Nina Schwartz Kahn and to Jonathan and Elizabeth Schwartz, for their kindness and support of our completion and release of these recordings.

Cover artwork, "Daedalus and Icarus” (1957) woodblock print by Dorothy Schwartz.

Credits:
Track 1 - Divertimento No. 4 (1980) Scherzo, Aria, Soliloquy, Fixation, Accompanied Cadenza, Rondo; Scherzo
Emi Ferguson, flute
Doug Balliett, contrabass
Blair McMillen, piano
Publisher: Keiser Classical (BMI)

Track 2 - Remembering David: Echo Variations (2012)
counter)induction
Benjamin Fingland, clarinet
Robert Burkhart, cello
Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn
Jacob Rhodebeck, piano
Publisher: American Composers Edition (BMI)
Audio samples of David Gamper, used courtesy of Gisela Gamper

Tracks 1 & 2 recorded September 21, 2016
Symphony Space Thalia
Engineer: Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio
Editing supervised by Elliott Schwartz
Produced by Gina Genova for American Composers Alliance Recordings

About the Composer:

ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ (1936-2016) was born in New York City. He studied composition with Otto Luening and Jack Beeson at Columbia University, and also worked privately with Paul Creston. From 1964 through 2007 he taught at Bowdoin College (including twelve years as department chair), where he held the Robert K. Beckwith Professorship of music. He has also held extended visiting residencies at the University of California (Santa Barbara and San Diego campuses), The Ohio State University, Trinity College of Music, London (UK) and Cambridge University (UK). Schwartz has served as president of the College Music Society, national chair of the Society of Composers, Inc. and vice-president of the American Music Center.

Schwartz’s compositions have been performed by the Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Atlanta Virtuosi and New York Chamber Soloists, and featured at numerous international music centers and festivals including Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), the Bath, York and Kings Lynn Festivals (England), De Ijsbreker (Amsterdam, Holland), Music of the Americas (London), and the “Leningrad Spring” (Russia). Other appearances include Oxford University (UK), the Spoleto Festival (Charleston), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, New York City (Merkin Hall and the Museum of Modern Art), the International Double Reed Festival (Rotterdam), the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Copenhagen), the Mannheim and Weimar Conservatories, (Germany), and the Netherlands National Youth Orchestra. In 2006 his 70th birthday was celebrated by a concert of his music at the Library of Congress, Washington DC; the Library also houses an archival collection of his papers and sketches.

In addition to composing, Schwartz has written extensively on musical topics. His books include Music: Ways of Listening; Electronic Music: A Listener's Guide; Music since 1945 (of which he is co-author with Daniel Godfrey) and the anthology Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music (co-editor with Barney Childs). His compositions are published by American Composers Edition, Keiser Classical, Margun/G. Schirmer, Carl Fischer, and Theodore Presser. Recordings of his music originally released by Capstone, New World, Innova, Smithsonian-Folkways, North-South Consonance, BMOP-Sound, and GM labels, can now be found worldwide on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and more.

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