The twentieth century has produced a large body of works for mixed chamber ensembles. Innovative instrumental combinations have answered two special needs that contemporary composers have: searching for new and unusual timbres, and securing a flexible medium capable of clearly articulating the richer, more complex contrapuntal textures often found in recent works.
For the performers, this music provides a marvelous opportunity for ensemble and solo playing. It also challenges the technical and expressive possibilities of their instruments. The extraordinary richness of the music being written throughout the United States strongly communicates the feeling that composition is alive and well.
The adventurous listener will be pleasantly surprised by the diversity and originality found in the music featured in this album. These five recent compositions, recorded for the first time on this disc, represent a wide variety of aesthetic viewpoints. Each successfully meets the compositional challenges posed by its chosen instrumental or vocal medium. Of quite diverse temperament, technical and musical orientation, these works paint a vivid image of the eclecticism strongly manifested in today's musical soundscape. They also attest to the creative vitality of American musical imagination.
Great care was taken to preserve the integrity of the concert hall ambiance when this recording was made. Indeed, you will find that we successfully captured both the natural resonance of the concert hall and the wide dynamic range of the music without distortion. Please use a moderate volume setting when you play this recording.