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Satterwhite: Witnesses Of Time, Epitafio, Etc / Mark, Et Al

Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Centaur Records   Catalog #: 2816   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Marc Satterwhite
Performer:  Conrad AlexanderPaige MorganPaul YorkMichael Parola,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Core Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SATTERWHITE Witnesses of Time. 1 Epitafio. 2 Memento Mori No. 1: Red Carnations in White Lace Curtains 3. Concertino à Tre 4 1 Paul York (vc); 2 Paige Morgan (Eh); 2 Read more class="ARIAL12">Conrad Alexander (perc); 3 Andrew Mark (vc); 3 Hugh Hinton (pn); 3 Michael Parola (pc); 4 Kathy Karr (fl); 4 Matthew Karr (bn); 4 Joanna Goldstein (pn) CENTAUR CRC 2816 (60:17)

Three of the four works on composer Marc Satterwhite’s compelling new disc, Witnesses of Time, have a particular concrete inspiration, and in all three cases the subjects seem to directly inform their content. The opener, Epitafio , is written in memory of the passing of two dear friends, and even the instrumentation carries connotations of mourning. The English horn has often been used for its seemingly inherent ability for lamentation, and the choice of some of the percussion instruments also bears a hint of ancient ceremonial rites. The horn line is frequently lyrical and meandering, while the percussion provides pulse and a degree of structure simply through the transition of instruments, including vibraphone, bass drum, and cymbals, among others.

Witnesses of Time for solo cello is inspired by four photographs of life in Latin America by Flor Garduño, one of which adorns the cover. This photo ( Tarahumara Pilgrimage ) depicts a processional dance in Noragáchic, Mexico, and inspired the second movement. The cello ingeniously employs a range of percussive effects to simulate dance rhythms, while a simple tune is woven into the texture. A 20-minute work for a solo string player is not an easy assignment for a composer, but Satterwhite’s easily holds the listener’s attention in part because of his skill in pulling out a wide range of textures and colors. Cellist Paul York expertly and expressively negotiates the work’s fiendish challenges.

The work of performance artist Karen Finley was the impetus for Memento Mori No. 1: Red Carnations in White Lace Curtains , a work for cello, piano, and percussion. Like the art that inspired it, personal loss is at the heart of the piece, with some of the percussion work seeming to evoke memories and singing cello lines that mourn for lost loved ones. But the work is more than just a lament, with dense, high-decibel passages that no doubt reflect the anger that Finley’s installation provoked.

The one abstract work is the Concertino à Tre for flutes, bassoon, and piano. The 10 movements feature changing instrumentation, with solos, duos, and trios maximizing the potential for varied treatment of Satterwhite’s motives. The overall mood is sprightly and playful, and shows the composer’s keen instincts for color, movement, and especially motivic development.

This disc is a fine representation of some very impressive compositions, with authoritative performances and clear and crisp recorded sound.

FANFARE: Michael Cameron
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Works on This Recording

Epitafio by Marc Satterwhite
Performer:  Conrad Alexander (Percussion), Paige Morgan (English Horn)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/23/2004 
Venue:  TNT Productions, Louisville, Kentucky 
Length: 9 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Witnesses of Time by Marc Satterwhite
Performer:  Paul York (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003 
Date of Recording: 03/15/2004 
Venue:  TNT Productions, Louisville, Kentucky 
Length: 19 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Memento Mori 1: Red Carnations in White Lace Curtains by Marc Satterwhite
Performer:  Michael Parola (Percussion), Hugh Hinton (Piano), Andrew Mark (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Core Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 07/01/1996 
Venue:  Houghton Chapel, Wellesley College, MA 
Length: 10 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: 1993 - 1995. 
Concertino ŕ Tre by Marc Satterwhite
Performer:  Joanna Goldstein (Piano), Matthew Karr (Bassoon), Kathleen Karr (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995 
Date of Recording: 05/10/1997 
Venue:  Comstock Concert Hall, University of Lou 
Length: 19 Minutes 58 Secs. 

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