FRED LERDAHL (b.1943): Music of, Vol. 2 - Cross-Currents, Quiet Music (Odense Symphony Orchestra; Paul Mann), Walzes for String Trio and Double Bass (Rolf Schulte [violin], Scott Nickrenz [viola], Fred Sherry [cello], Donald Palma [double bass]), Duo for Violin and Piano (Schulte [violin], James Winn [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 09K093
Description: Two contrasting orchestral works exhibit the composer's characteristic technique of 'expanding variation', or 'spiralling' form, whereby thematic material is returned to and developed with increasing elaboration and complexity as the piece progresses. This permits sophisticated and involved musical argument while anchoring the music sufficiently to render it accessible to the listener form first acquaintance, though complex enough to reward repeated listening. A constant sense of tonality also serves to ground the music throughout its increasingly elaborate excursions. Cross-Currents has a symmetrical structure; t he opening material punctuates the work at its mid-point and returns with great drama at the end of the work's increasingly urgent progression. Quiet Music is less demonstrative, but no less urgent ion its own way, beginning with an insistent motoric motif and retaining a sense of perpetual motion throughout. The Waltzes, some humorously evoking and quoting earlier models, are something of a departure form this technique, a set of discrete movements, lively and full of wit and vitality. The recent duo uses the expanding variation technique, though in the second half the duration of the variations decreases, leading to ever greater compression of increasingly dense material; rhythmic intricacy and proliferation of material lead to an astonishing increase in tension as the work progresses.