Court Dances

Michael Parloff, flute; Jerry Grossman, cello; Kenneth Cooper, harpsichord

I’ve been saying for years that some of the newest sounding music is the music that contemporary composers are writing for older musical instruments. A new disc featuring the music by septuagenarian Chelsea Hotel-resident Gerald Busby, on which the main instrument is the harpsichord, proves my point once again. Busby’s 1980 Court Dances for flute, cello, and harpsichord might evoke the timbres of a Baroque sonata, but that’s where the anachronism ends. Written for the Joffrey Ballet, the score oozes a rhythmic vitality that is only possible in our own time that is made all the more visceral by the out-of-context sonorities.