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Andrew Imbrie & Hi Kyung Kim: Solos And Duos

Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1048   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Andrew ImbrieHi Kyung Kim
Performer:  Aki TakahashiRae ImamuraAeri JiJohn Sackett,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

IMBRIE To My Son. 1 Melody for Gayageum. 2 Duet for Two Friends. 3 Mukashi Mukashi. 4 KIM Crystal Drops. 5 A Story. 6 Two Years with the Seine 7 Aki Takahashi (pn); Read more class="SUPER12">1,4,5 Rae Imamura (pn); 4,5 Aeri Ji (gayageum); 2,6 John Sackett (bs cl); 3,7 Jean-Michel Fonteneau (vc) 3,7 ALBANY TROY 1048 (75:16)

Andrew Imbrie, who died in late 2007, was a respected composer and head of music at Berkeley for several decades. Although Imbrie studied with Boulanger and Sessions, Asian music became an influence, and he resided in Japan and Korea at various times. Hi Kyung Kim (born in Korea in 1954) studied with Imbrie, among others, and is now professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. This disc brings together several of the composers’ short chamber works; with the exception of Mukashi Mukashi (or Once upon a Time , 1997), all were written within the last five years. The works are sturdily played here by the musicians who premiered and, in most cases, commissioned them.

I have to say, this is very dry stuff: fragmentary and generally unappealing. The music itself fails to reflect anything of the evocative titles. Kim’s A Story has a movement titled “Campus in Autumn,” and Two Years with the Seine encompasses “Boat Riding,” “Song of Sunset,” “At Notre Dame,” and “Willow Trees,” but frankly, these movements could be called anything. After reading the liner notes, I nevertheless fail to hear the static second part of Crystal Drops as a reaction to the events of 9/11, nor do I recognize the reputed humor in Imbrie’s Mukashi Mukashi . The most attractive music here is the first movement of Crystal Drops , where Kim takes her cue from Messiaen and Takemitsu.

Imbrie’s larger works deserve to be available on CD. I seem to recall that his Violin Concerto was recorded by Columbia—I searched high and low for my old LP copy but it has disappeared—while the most substantial works of his available at the moment are the Requiem for soprano, chorus and orchestra, and the Third Piano Concerto (on Bridge 9091). That would be the place to start if you are interested in this composer.

FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

To My Son by Andrew Imbrie
Performer:  Aki Takahashi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Crystal Drops by Hi Kyung Kim
Performer:  Aki Takahashi (Piano), Rae Imamura (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Melody for Gayageum by Andrew Imbrie
Performer:  Aeri Ji (Gayageum), Aki Takahashi (Piano), Aeri Ji (Kayagum),
Rae Imamura (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 9 Minutes 52 Secs. 
A Story by Hi Kyung Kim
Performer:  Aeri Ji (Gayageum)
Period: 20th Century 
Duet for Two Friends by Andrew Imbrie
Performer:  John Sackett (Bass Clarinet), Jean-Michele Fonteneau (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 8 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Two Years with the Seine by Hi Kyung Kim
Performer:  John Sackett (Bass Clarinet), Jean-Michele Fonteneau (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Mukashi Mukashi by Andrew Imbrie
Performer:  Rae Imamura (Piano), Aki Takahashi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 13 Minutes 6 Secs. 

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