The events surrounding the September.11, 2001 attack on America will undoubtedly inspire artists for generations to come. The brief but dramatic work that opens this album was written as composer Ronald Mazurek watched the television pictures flashed all over the world depicting New York City fire trucks rushing to the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
Available on disc for the first time, the compositions in this collection speak volumes about the American experience. Each delves into the abundant resources available to post-modern composers.
Mazurek's vocabulary is wide and all-inclusive. While his Preludes juxtapose and contrast electronic sounds with the acoustic piano, the pieces that open the disc explore both atonal harmonies and sweet-sounding oriental scales. Ovens treats the piano as a marimba with an extended range. Glesser relishes musical gestures that grow in and out of silence. He fashions his musical language around extremely quiet and fragmented gestures recalling the style of the influential Austrian composer Anton Webern. Strunk's background as a jazz pianist lurks beneath the twelve-tone façade of his piece. Boyadjian's ambitious neo-classic one-movement sonata employs harmonic and rhythmic elements derived from Armenian music. He also expects the pianist to recite an original text disparaging about the horrors of war.
A set of Miniatures written in the early 1940's by Alexander Semmler unexpectedly found its way into this collection. The German-born composer was forced to immigrate to this country as a result of the dreadful circumstances that coincided with the Weimar Republic. An early post-modernist, Semmler's music lacks a clear allegiance to a specific style straddling comfortably the tonal and atonal worlds.
Great care was exercised during the entire recording process to capture the natural ambience of the concert hall and the extremely wide dynamic range of the music. Please use a moderate volume setting when playing this disc.
New York, June 2006