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Making Of A Medium Vol 16 - International Connections


Release Date: 02/28/2006 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 946   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bright ShengJennifer HigdonGernot WolfgangStephen Chatman,   ... 
Performer:  Silvia RoedererElsa Ludewig-VerdehrWalter Verdehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS: THE MAKING OF A MEDIUM, VOL. 16 ? Verdehr Tr ? CRYSTAL CD946 (64:19)


HIGDON Dash. WOLFGANG Reflections. SHENG Tibetan Dances. CHATMAN Trio. RIHM Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Gesangstück


The Verdehr Trio soldiers on. As usual, they have commissioned, along with Michigan State University, this release?s contents for their ensemble of violin, clarinet, and piano, and they have honored the results.


Jennifer Higdon was born in Brooklyn in 1962, and currently teaches composition at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Her Dash , composed in 2001, is a brief toccata-like piece that, in her terms, reflects our contemporary craving for speed in all things. It serves as an effective entree to Gernot Wolfgang?s pensive Reflections of 1999. Wolfgang was born in Bad Gastein, Austria in 1957, and currently resides in Los Angeles. He is also a jazz guitarist. Some of that influence pervades his Reflections , a quite classically developed piece wherein its initial motive is teased out in ways that communicate in numerous affective realms?Schubert would have smiled.


Bright Sheng?s Tibetan Dances of 2000 offers a bit of exoticism. Sheng was born in Shanghai in 1955. He survived the Cultural Revolution and ultimately made his way to New York City where he attended Queens College, CUNY, and Columbia University. Along the way, he was taught by, among others, Leonard Bernstein, Mario Davidovsky, and George Perle. Tibetan Dances is a microcosmically contained tour de force in which he, by purely Western means, evokes a Far Eastern world in much the same way as Ravel had, but with a soupçon more of indigenous flavor.


Stephen Chatman was born in 1950 in Faribault, Minnesota, and is currently professor of composition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His Trio, composed in 2001, hearkens back to Debussy?s Childrens Corner Suite , where its first movement lambastes those never ending Czerny piano exercises. Chatman?s sinuous second movement enters the realm of the Blues, presenting a sumptuous and all too brief distillate of the same. The finale is both jazzy and bracing.


All this leads, step by step, to Wolfgang Rihm?s 2002 Gesangstück . Rihm was born in 1952 in Karlsruhe, Germany. He can count Karlheinz Stockhausen among his teachers and is the recipient of many commissions. His Time Chant for violin and orchestra of 1992 was written for Anne-Sophie Mutter. Gesangstück is a magnum opus taking over 25 minutes in performance and masterfully exploiting the sonic possibilities of the ensemble at hand. Its initial slow and rhythmically disjunct melody floats over its harmonies in a way that is Schoenbergian in the best sense of the word. The underpinning structure is that of a theme and variations often demanding high tessitura playing from the violin. This stuff is not 12-tone, but it evokes that world most eloquently and provides an affectively wide-ranging odyssey as it progresses toward its both surprising and inevitable end.


Here, once again, the Verdehr Trio has proven that the only good composer is not necessarily a dead one. Soldier on!


FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

1.
Seven Tunes Heard in China: no 7, Tibetan Dance by Bright Sheng
Performer:  Silvia Roederer (Piano), Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Clarinet), Walter Verdehr (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Dash by Jennifer Higdon
Performer:  Silvia Roederer (Piano), Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Clarinet), Walter Verdehr (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Period: 21st Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
3.
Reflections by Gernot Wolfgang
Performer:  Silvia Roederer (Piano), Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Clarinet), Walter Verdehr (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; USA 
4.
Trio by Stephen Chatman
Performer:  Silvia Roederer (Piano), Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Clarinet), Walter Verdehr (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; Canada 
5.
Gesangstück by Wolfgang Rihm
Performer:  Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Clarinet), Silvia Roederer (Piano), Walter Verdehr (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdehr Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; Germany 

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