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Portraits Of Three Ladies - Whittenberg, London, Hoffmann


Release Date: 05/25/1999 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80562   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Charles WhittenbergEdwin LondonRichard Hoffmann
Performer:  Marilyn ColesRoyal MacDonald
Conductor:  Arthur WeisbergEdwin LondonRobert Baustian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Contemporary Chamber EnsembleU. of Illinois Contemporary Chamber PlayersOberlin Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Richard Hoffmann represents Schoenberg's revolutionary classicism in its purest form; further, he extended serialism beyond pitch to rhythm and dynamics. Born in Vienna, he lived in New Zealand from 1935 to 1947, graduating from Auckland University in 1945. He began his association with Schoenberg in 1947 when he moved to Los Angeles. According to Helen Paxton, a former student of Hoffmann's at Oberlin and author of Music's Connecticut Yankee: An Introduction to the Life and Music of Charles Ives, Hoffmann passionately promoted the twelve-tone method but "forced his students to think lyrically. His music is like Bach's, finely wrought but intensely lyrical." His Orchestra Piece included on this disc supports this view. Written in 1961 Read more during his seventh year of teaching at Oberlin, it combines a lyrical line with swirling kinetic energy. A more delicate if equally mobile sound bounces through the 1964 Variations for Nine Players by the prolific Charles Whittenberg, who studied at Eastman with Bernard Rogers and taught at Bennington College, the Center of Liberal Studies, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. By the late sixties, something very different from monastic serialism was starting to emerge. Advocates of a more dramatic, overtly emotional style of nontonal music such as Edwin London in his 1967 Portraits of Three Ladies (American) began experimenting with a surrealist style of theater music most popularly represented by George Crumb and Peter Maxwell Davies. By no means "easy listening," London's Portraits are acerbic and challenging, but their high-Gothicism and the childlike immediacy throw them into a relatively populist context. Their insistence on reaching out to an audience automatically places them in a different realm from the Hoffmann-Whittenberg school. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Variations for 9 Players by Charles Whittenberg
Conductor:  Arthur Weisberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/28/1969 
Venue:  Rutgers Presbyterian Church, NYC 
Length: 13 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Portraits of Three Ladies (American) by Edwin London
Performer:  Marilyn Coles (Soprano), Royal MacDonald (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Edwin London
Orchestra/Ensemble:  U. of Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/18/1969 
Venue:  Smith Hall, University of Illinois 
Length: 20 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Piece for Orchestra by Richard Hoffmann
Conductor:  Robert Baustian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oberlin Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/27/1970 
Venue:  Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio 
Length: 17 Minutes 29 Secs. 

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