MARTIN BRESNICK (b.1946): String Quartet No. 2 "Bucephalus"(Flux Quartet), Piano Trio (Jupiter Trio), The Bucket Rider, BE JUST! (Bang on a Can All-Stars), DVD: For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise (Lisa Moore [piano, voice]).
Catalogue Number: 12I096
Description: The quartet is composed in a vocabulary of astringent harmony which frequently hovers around tonal centers without much sense of tonality, except in several passages of process-like procedures; elsewhere the texture is broken up by accented gestures of sliding or indeterminate harmony. The trio's vocabulary is similar, with ingenious use of fractured syncopated rhythms between parts in the second movement, and an affecting, melancholy slow movement. The more recent ensemble pieces present, respectively, a canvas of atmospheric washes of sound containing some interesting, original textures, and four minutes of energetic minimalistic propulsion, with punctuating episodes of percussive sound effects. For the Sexes is a half-hour music-theater piece in which a solo pianist, who also recites the texts (by William Blake) and is occasionally also required to sing, performs the music while computer-manipulated details from Blake's accompanying illustrations are presented on screen. The music has some minimalistic, repetitive elements, and elsewhere, a sense of improvised accompaniment to the spoken texts in simple chord progressions or gestures, overwhelmingly cast in diatonic harmony with the exception of a few dramatic percussive flourishes. An accompanying documentary with interview material is informative about the Blake imagery and the creation of the visual and musical material; a second documentary is an insightful lecture on Blake by literary scholar Harold Bloom. 4:3 aspect ratio. Cantaloupe CD and DVD