NANCY GALBRAITH (b.1951): Effervescent Air (Stephen Schultz [baroque flute], Luz Manriquez [piano], Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble; Daniel Nesta Curtis), Euphonic Blues (Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Orchestra; Ronald Zollman), 3 Preludes for Piano (Rishi Mirchandani), Strange Travels (Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble; Curtis).
Catalogue Number: 04Q083
Reference: CRC 3409
Description: Effervescent Air is a double concerto, with lively post-minimalist propulsive outer movements and a serenely lyrical slow movement, all in Galbraith's familiar, highly accessible modally inflected language - an element of 'world music', with influences from the far east and the Americas has always been an appealing aspect of the composer's distinctive and individual style. The opulently orchestrated Blues begins and ends lyrically, in nostalgic mood, but builds an impressive climax suggesting wide-open landscapes, followed by a characteristically lively rhythmic section, and then combines the two, in between. Travels consists of two movements named for places in Thailand; the restless energy of the first and, glimmering gamelan-minimalist motion of the second, in an exotically harmonized and inventively orchestrated idiom, suggests journeys to far-off places full of strange wonders. The substantial Preludes mix neoclassical brilliance, minimalism and impressionism with a hint of the exotic in two virtuosic movements and a pensive slow piece with a ritualistic air.