Soundtracks: February 2000

SoundTracksWhile discs continue to appear on our desks that were recorded and released in 1999, the first batch of recordings with a triple-zero date have begun to surface. This is indeed an exciting time because all new music is old and contrapositively all old music is new!

Plenty of new music is featuring on a total of 25 discs collected for this month’s edition of SoundTracks, and if this month’s offering are any indication, the dawn of the 21st Century offers as great a variety of sound as the dusk of the 20th…

There are big sounds: new discs of recent orchestral music by Elliott Carter and Rolv Yttrehus, a new work for violin and string orchestra by Keith Jarrett, as well as three movie soundtrack scores by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and a soundtrack to the new Tim Robbins’ film based on idiosyncratic composer Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.

Extremely intimate sounds: A disc of recent art songs by Daron Hagen, plus a collection featuring songs by 10 different composers. There are works for piano and chamber forces plus narration by Mark Schultz, Soulima Stravinsky, and Richard Wilson, a disc of chamber music for flute and harp, plus recordings of chamber works employing other unusual combinations by George Crumb, Judith Sainte-Croix, and Yehuda Yannay. But recordings of chamber works for more standard combinations by Martin Boykan and Walter Winslow prove that there’s still plenty to be said by a piano trio or a string sextet.

There are new jazz combo discs led by Dave Douglas, Mark Elf, and Jon Raskin, plus a disc of organ improvisations by Wayne Marshall. Two new CDs which introduce digital purveyors of music to the unique soundworld of Music for Homemade Instruments, one of which is devoted to the music of MFHI founder Skip La Plante. Steffen Schleiermacher continues his pioneering cycle of the complete piano music of John Cage in a fourth volume collecting indeterminate works from the 1950s. And Gideon Freudmann, whose unusual live electric cello performance was a highlight of the 2000 Conference of Chamber Music America is featured an a disc performing his solo compositions. Electronics also figure in a new disc of collages by Mark Applebaum and as well as a disc of works by Alvin Lucier which use complex circuitry to alter the sounds of a solo piano as well as a gamelan.

Nothing’s changed!

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