All of the works on this recording evidence the hallmarks of Martin Amlin's style: a facile flow of elaborate rhythms; a harmonic language rich with the notes that comprise seventh chords; a non-strict usage of tone rows; an honoring of the past through recognizable formal structure and thematic evolution; and a French sensibility that might be described as neo-impressionistic. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Martin Amlin received masters and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards and has been a resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. A member of the faculty at Boston University, he is also director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Composition Program. A noted pianist as well, he performs the works on this CD with noted artists Leone Buyse and Michael Webster, who have long been advocates of his music.
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a GRAMMY® Award, Christopher Rouse is one of America’s most prominent composers of orchestral music, creating a body of work perhaps unequalled in its emotional intensity. Conceived from the start as differing from a traditional piano concerto, Seeing brings together seemingly disparate elements to explore the notion of ‘sanity’ through the music of Robert Schumann and Skip Spence, swinging between extremes of consonance and dissonance, stability and instability, to create a disorientating and hallucinatory work seen through the lens of mental illness. Kabir Padavali or ‘Kabir Songbook’ presents a range of the great Indian poet’s religious concerns, from extraordinarily beautiful ecstasy to impishly humorous allegories.
This mostly ballad-oriented trio set with bassist George Duvivier and drummer Charlie Persip was pianist Joe Albany's final recording. Albany, whose career (especially on records) did not really get going until his final decade, is in generally good form on such tunes as "Autumn In New York," "They Say It's Wonderful" and "Confirmation." The album concludes with a brief interview that sums up some aspects of his episodic life.