WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Harrison: The Perilous Chapel / Duykers, Tanenbaum, Et Al


Release Date: 04/13/1994 
Label:  New Albion   Catalog #: 55   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lou Harrison
Performer:  William WinantDavid TanenbaumBarbara ChaffeStephen Harrison,   ... 
Conductor:  Stephen L. Mosko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

This title is currently unavailable.



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lou Harrison composes as if he were discovering the simplest materials for the first time. This 1940s anticipation of minimalism can be fresh: it can also be naive, without the knowing quality of Virgil Thomson. In some ways Harrison's music inhabits a kind of no man's land between West and East which gives him, as it did Henry Cowell, a kind of licence to operate instinctively on his chosen territory.

This anthology has lots of accessible guitar music which is virtually unknown. Along with the earlier Harrison anthology, ''Works for Guitar and Percussion'' on Etcetera (9/91), it confirms the composer's special rapport with the instrument. These occasional, domestically inspired pieces are well played and recorded but there is
Read more more scope in Perilous Chapel and the colourful ensemble pieces which follow. Perilous Chapel's first movement, ''Prelude'' (track 13), begins with a flute ostinato straight from Satie. The arrival of the harp at 1'21'' provides an atmosphere of Debussian luxury. There is a bongo drum background to the flute and cello in the next movement and the final ''Alleluia'' goes round in circles of modal serenity. Harrison's hallmark is an immediacy regardless of style.

The Fugue, opening and closing with the sound of the flexatone (or musical saw), is a surprise, with an enchanting plethora of gongs and bells echoing Partch or early Cage, with whom Harrison collaborated. The rhythmic, dry percussion is another original touch in the instrumental piece called Song of Quetzalcoatl, the Mexican deity. The only actual song in this collection is May Rain, a simple setting of a poem by Elsa Gidlaw, where the accompanying piano is tuned to a special intonation system: no details of this are given in the CD booklet.'

-- Peter Dickinson, Gramophone
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Serenade for Guitar and Percussion by Lou Harrison
Performer:  William Winant (Percussion), David Tanenbaum (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978/1988; USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: This selection was originally written in 1978 for guitar with interchangeable fingerboards. Harrison added the percussion parts in 1988. 
2. Perilous Chapel by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Barbara Chaffe (Flute), Stephen Harrison (Cello), William Winant (Percussion),
Doug Rioth (Harp)
Conductor:  Stephen L. Mosko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Length: 13 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3. Fugue for Percussion by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Daniel Kennedy (Percussion), William Winant (Percussion), Todd Manley (Percussion),
David Rosenthal (Percussion)
Conductor:  Stephen L. Mosko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4. Song of Quetzalcoatl by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Daniel Kennedy (Percussion), David Rosenthal (Percussion), Todd Manley (Percussion),
William Winant (Percussion)
Conductor:  Stephen L. Mosko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5. May Rain by Lou Harrison
Performer:  William Winant (Percussion), John Duykers (Tenor), Julie Steinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
6. Harp Suite by Lou Harrison
Performer:  David Tanenbaum (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952-1977; USA 
Length: 14 Minutes 40 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook