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.
Pedro Iturralde is one of the most admired Spanish composer-performers of the last half-century. An important innovator in the fusion of jazz and flamenco styles, he has also enriched his music with folk and classical idioms. One of his best-loved pieces is the Hungarian Dance, for two saxophones, whilst Suite Helénica blends jazz idioms with southern Greek folklore. Zorongo Gitano is a classic example of his fusion style, full of alluring harmonies and rhythms. The composer’s definitive versions of these works were made especially for this recording.