This recording gives a completely fresh view of the work of a leading American composer. Long regarded as one of the world’s finest exponents of ‘computer music’, this disc presents first recordings of three major Paul Lansky compositions for acoustic instruments. Lansky’s fine ear for harmony and his restless and energetic rhythmic sense carry over from much of his computer music, but in these works, there is a newly found subtlety that seems inspiring to the interpreters heard in these performances. Etudes and Parodies for horn trio was the winner of the International Horn Society’s 2005 composition competition. Composed for horn virtuoso, William Purvis, the set of seven movements is actually a series of etudes based on all the things the horn does well: long round tones, staccato/legato alternate tonguing, large ascending leaps, rapid and round staccato, natural harmonics, fast and close jazz-like licks, and finally, soulful singing. The ‘parodies’ include gypsy-like music, funk, film-noir, and various references to horn player’s practice rooms. Semi-Suite was composed for the guitarist David Starobin. Its six movements are loosely based around its baroque namesakes, though Lansky’s idiomatic guitar writing shows the influence of such finger-style guitarists as Merle Travis and others. Lansky’s Ricercare Plus includes references to early baroque and late renaissance part writing with non-vibrato sustained, overlapping lines, and rapid contrapuntal configurations. The work was written for the Brentano Quartet.
Etudes and Parodies (2004) for horn, violin and piano
William Purvis, French horn; Curtis Macomber, violin
Mihae Lee, piano
Semi-Suite (2001) for guitar
David Starobin, guitar
Ricercare Plus (2000, 2004) for string quartet
Brentano String Quartet