ROGER REYNOLDS (b.1934): String Quartets, Vol. 1 - FLiGHT, not forgotten.
Catalogue Number: 11W050
Description: The pioneer of electronic music, algorithmic composition, multimedia, and all forms of musical experimentation is represented here, on the first of two volumes celebrating his 85th birthday, by two perhaps surprisingly conventional (by the standards of cutting-edge contemporary music) string quartets - neither approaches the boundaries of Arditti territory. The four movements of Flight are a self-contained string quartet this also part of an 80-minute multimedia piece that explores humanity's aspirations for flight; IMAGINING, PREPARING, EXPERIENCING, and PERSPECTIVE. The first is a busy allegro, full of wheeling, swooping gestures; the second a kind of scherzo; the third a slow movement with an almost late-romantic richness of texture; and a hectically hyperactive finale, gliding and skittering. Of the six movements of "not forgotten” Reynolds writes: 'As the years pass, one notices that certain elements in one’s days have unusual persistence in the mind. Such elements may involve individuals encountered, sometimes places experienced, or momentary intersections that are unexpectedly luminous. The point is that they not only don’t go away, they play roles as one’s own life evolves. … Three composers with whom I had extensive and formative interactions were Elliott Carter, Toru Takemitsu and Iannis Xenakis. Geographic parallels include Ryoanji in Kyoto, Monet’s sumptuous Giverny gardens, and the glitteringly patterned surface of the Aegean. These experiences form the movements to “not forgotten."' Parallels with their subjects - particularly the reminiscences of composers - can be found in the textures and gestures of the music. JACK Quartet.