LIBBY LARSEN (b.1950): Piano Trio, Viola Sonata, Four on the Floor for Violin, Cello, Double Bass and Piano, Up, Where the Air Gets Thin for Cello and Double Bass, Sifting Through the Ruins for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and Piano. Attractive, thoroughly accessible works based on tonality and traditional forms.
Catalogue Number: 11R074
Label: Navona Records
Description: The substantial trio and sonata are both classically proportioned three-movement works with a meditative, introverted central movement bracketed by more active movements, with some allusions to jazz. Sifting through the Ruins is a 9/11 memorial, setting fragments of texts left on makeshift memorials by those remembering or searching for lost loved ones, in an expressive neo-romantic idiom. The other two short works are much earlier, from the 1980s, and find the composer working in a more austere, less harmonically opulent language. Up Where the Air is Thin uses instrumental timbres and techniques to suggest the strange acoustic phenomena observed at high altitude while Four on the Floor celebrates boogie-woogie, in a rather acerbic, hard-edged idiom. Curtis Macomber (violin), James Dunham (viola), Norman Fischer (cello), Deborah Dunham (double bass), Susanne Mentzer (mezzo), Jeanne Kierman, Craig Rutenberg (piano).