CARL RUGGLES Sun-treader
Ruggles wrote a small body of music—only eight published compositions—what he
left aims high, reaching for honesty and spiritual exaltation. Sun-treader
is a work of potent and dramatic
contrasts, containing sections of uncompromising steadiness that set off
long-range accelerations, roaring rhetoric spelled by pages of serene lyricism.
MORTON FELDMAN Piano and
experiments in musical notation arose from an obsession to write music as he
heard it, and what he created were works of delicate luminosity, slowly moving
and defining silence. From 1971 to 1979, Feldman produced eight large-scale
orchestral works that he called his “still-life titles”; one of these was Piano and Orchestra. The two
sound-producing units in the work maintain distinct characteristics: The piano
strikes a contemplative pose, while the orchestra usually keeps very quiet.
CHARLES IVES (orch. HENRY BRANT)
A Concord Symphony
Ives was obsessed with the riddle
of the universe, and in his great “Concord” Sonata he honored four soul-mates,
representatives of New England Transcendentalism, devoting a movement each to
Emerson, Hawthorne, The Alcotts, and Thoreau. Ives published the sonata in
1920, but his changes grew so extensive that he brought out a greatly modified
edition in 1947. The work’s sonorities and scale seem created for a large
ensemble, and they inspired maverick American composer Henry Brant to
orchestrate the work.