Serenade for Betty Freeman and Franco Assetto

Who can resist the raw beauty of Lou Harrison’s music? The composer’s gamelan works possess an even stronger allure, mixing hints of exotic tunings and timbres with direct melodies flitting around this hypnotic accompaniment. In Serenade for Betty Freeman and Franco Assetto, Harrison himself weaves the melodic line, performing on an Indonesian vertical flute called a suling, backed by the Gamelan Sekar Kembar. The brief serenade shows the power of innocence and sincerity, proving that the simple things in life are usually the best.

—RN

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