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Music From Raritan River - Bogdanovic, Liebermann, Sierra, Etc / Daedalus String Quartet, Et Al


Release Date: 12/09/2008 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1298   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dusan BogdanovicLowell LiebermannRoberto SierraAugusta Read Thomas,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar DuoDaedalus String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC FROM RARITAN RIVER Newman and Oltman Gtr Duo; Daedalus Qrt 1 MSR 1298 (71:59)


BOGDANOVIC Sevdalinka. 1 LIEBERMANN Nocturne-Fantasy. SIERRA 3 Hungarian Tributes. THOMAS Memory: Swells. KARMON Read more Caught in the Headlights. VAMOS/AVERS 3 Songs for 12 Strings


Dusan Bogdanovic’s Sevdalinka , with its Bartókian/Eastern European melodies, modal harmony, and Balkan/African polymetric rhythms, is a colorful introduction to this eclectic recital by the Newman/Oltman guitar duo. Strings, courtesy of the Daedalus Quartet, vigorously propel the outer movements; in the third, drumming on the guitar bodies increases the rhythmic excitement while adding ethnic color and mysteriously enhances the gradually intensifying Adagio espressivo. Of Roberto Sierra’s Three Hungarian Tributes , “à Bartok” mimics that composer’s rhythmically energetic, folk-derived music; “à Liszt” is furthest from its dedicatee, as even the annotations admit—“The tribute to Liszt would not easily be mistaken for music by that composer, but Roberto [Sierra] uses microtones and playing at the highest register of the guitar to create a Lisztian atmosphere”; and “à Ligeti” uses “polyrhythms . . . and phasing effects” [Sierra’s words] to evoke his teacher’s music.


Lowell Liebermann’s Nocturne-Fantasy initially recalls Chopin’s Funeral March , but soon its melismas, strongly strummed chords, and rapid, running passages begin to hint more at Spain than Poland. Augusta Read Thomas finds an effective analogue for both oceanic depths and memory’s multilayered complexity in music that proceeds at a slow, steady pace, embellished with faster melodic currents and delicate harmonics.


Michael Karmon’s Caught in the Headlights , a set of four pieces—“High Beams,” “Battery’s Dead,” “Turn Signals,” and “Big Fuzzy Circles”—opens with some bluesy jazz. The underlying energetic ostinato falls apart in the middle section before reasserting itself in the conclusion; overall, the improvisatory ambience of “High Beams” suggests an impromptu jam session. “Battery’s Dead” is slow, lyrical, and eventually forceful, using drones and repeated patterns to climactic ends. After “Turn Signals,” which Karmon describes as a “short and angular” interlude (if the four movements were a sonata, “Turn Signals” would be the scherzo), the animated, yet pastoral “Big Fuzzy Circles” ends the suite, but not before it quotes “High Beams”’ assertive riff.


Rami Vamos and Randall Avers’s “Berries ‘n’ Cream” is a lilting, Brazilian sort of piece that finds texture, humor, and rhythm in the string scrapes that are usually disdained in guitar performances. “A Light Dry Table Wine” is a bit of lively, infectious American swing and exudes a good-time vibe. “Cricket,” again in up-tempo, light-hearted jazz or swing style, relaxes with a brief tango sandwiched between its two energetic outer parts.


As might be expected from such an experienced duo, Newman and Oltman are completely in synch with the program’s fluctuating moods and idioms, and play flawlessly. The Daedalus Quartet’s playing in Sevdalinka is similarly top-notch. A winner all around.


FANFARE: Robert Schulslaper
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sevdalinka by Dusan Bogdanovic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
2.
Nocturne-Fantasy, Op. 69 by Lowell Liebermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
3.
Homenajes Hungaros (3) by Roberto Sierra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
4.
memory: Swells by Augusta Read Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
5.
Caught in the Headlights by Michael Karmon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
6.
Songs (3) for 12 Strings by Randall Avers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo,  Daedalus String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 

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