RUTH LOMON (b.1930): Shadowing for Piano Quartet (Eileen Hutchins [piano], Katherine Winterstein [violin], Scott Woolweaver [viola], Patrick Owen [cello]), for Solo Piano: Sunflower Variations, Esquisses, 5 Ceremonial Masks (Hutchins [piano]) 5 Ceremonial Masks (Ruth Lomon [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 03S063
Label: Navona Records
Description: A Canadian-born composer who studied in France with Dutilleux, Lomon has an exquisite sense of sonority and a clear, finely crafted approach to composition. The music has a strong sense of atmosphere, conjuring a neo-impressionistic feeling of time and place. The harmony of Les cloches, the first of Esquisses, for instance, is derived from the partials of European church bells, while the piece's structure is based on change-ringing. Shadowing evokes the mysterious, ghostly movements of wolves in the forest, fading in and out of view like smoke. The Variations, on a theme of the composer's own, is an inventive and varied set in traditional form, pianistically accomplished. The second Esquisse was composed after attending Native American dances in New Mexico, and the Ceremonial Masks depict Navajo artifacts, also from New Mexico, where she has spent many years. Her idiom makes use of coloristic harmony with a basis in tonality, and some restrained extended methods for added color.