HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Air and Scherzo (versions w/piano and w/orchestra), Caoine (arr. Grainger), Chrysanthemums, Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 18, Sailor’s Hornpipe, Saxophone Quartet, 60 - For Percy Grainger, PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): The Immovable Do, Lisbon (3 versions), The Lonely Desert-Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes (versions w/piano and w/orchestra), The Merry King, Molly on the Shore, Random Round, Ye Banks and Braes O Bonny Doon.

Catalogue Number: 08S039

Label: Mode

Reference: 293

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Just last December we offered a Naxos disc of some of Grainger’s music for saxophones (12R032), yet some of the items here are still either first recordings (the Lonely Desert-Man in the orchestral version) or first saxophone versions but the real find is not really a saxophone piece (although there are saxophones in it) but what may be the first aleatoric piece in Western classical music. Random Round dates from 1912-14 and consists of modules from which the musicians are free to choose, repeat as often as they like and then move on to another module at will - a musical example of Grainger’s non-hierarchical social and political views. It sounds like an engagingly demented mash-up of folk music, gamelan orchestra and minimalism with punctuating gong strokes that may disturb your dog or cat. Several of Cowell’s pieces, folk-influenced as often, are first recordings too, one of them - Crysanthemums - a short song only rediscovered in 2003 in the New York Public Library. Ulrich Krieger (saxophones), intersax, Members of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, New Hudson Saxophone Quartet, The Percy Saxophone Ensemble, Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra.

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