20 Oct 2014
Foss: Capriccio
Composer: Lukas Foss
Recording Date: Sun 15 Jan 2012
Capriccio (8:20)
23 Mar 2010
Reifsteck: Missa Cor Inflammatus
Composer: Adam Reifsteck
Conductor: Karl Schrock
Recording Date: Fri 25 Apr 2008
Throughout history, composers have been drawn to the text of the Ordinary Mass for its inherent rhythmic structures derived from the pronunciation of the text as well as its distinctive formal structure. While tonal in nature and deriving influence from the Renaissance period, this setting of the Mass combines elements of traditional harmony and motivic development with chromaticism and tonal clusters. While the intent is that the work be performed in its entirety, it is divided into four distinct sections rather than the conventional six movements. The Gloria and Sanctus are extractable. In fact, in the first international performance of Missa Cor Inflammatus, only the Gloria and Sanctus movements were performed. Kyrie movements often have a structure that reflects the succinctness and symmetry of the text. Many have a ternary (ABA) form, where the two appearances of the phrase "Kyrie eleison" are comprised of identical or closely related material and frame a contrasting "Christe eleison" section. While there are certainly elements of symmetry in this setting, the phrases “Kyrie eleison” and “Christe eleison” were combined so that the setting becomes more organic than ternary in form and segues directly into the Gloria. The Gloria is a celebratory passage praising God and Christ. The Gloria incorporates ostinatos, canonic elements, and tonal clusters. The pronunciation of the text often dictates the rhythmic structure in this movement. Polyphony becomes more important in the Credo movement of this setting in order to combine large sections of text, while the Sanctus is a more atmospheric exploration of various sonorities. The Agnus Dei concludes the Mass with repetitions of the word "pacem," evoking peace and solitude.
I - Kyrie (2:40)
II - Gloria (3:05)
III - Credo (10:17)
IV - Sanctus (3:13)
V - Agnus Dei (3:31)
Reifsteck: Excursions
Composer: Adam Reifsteck
Recording Date: Wed 23 Apr 2008
The exploration of caves is a most intriguing pastime. Although it can be a dangerous sport and often requires extensive training and ability to move through confined spaces, exploring below the earth’s surface can be an exhilarating and frightening experience. While I have never actually gone spelunking, the thought of discovering the earth’s beauty below the surface conjures the feeling of excitement. The thrill of eminent danger could be the ultimate rush for the human psyche. Our story begins with the piano playing the role of the experienced guide whose six-note motive derived from a twelve-tone row serves as a homing device for the two inexperienced tourists (the clarinetist and violinist). While the goal of the guide is to lead the others safely into the depths of the cave, the other two have different agendas in their day of exploration below the earth’s surface. Despite the tour guide’s best efforts to keep everyone together, the two other explorers feel confident in their ability to maneuver within the confined entry way and wander off in their own directions. Eventually realizing that they do not remember the way out of the cave, the clarinetist and violinist frantically search for the guide (the pianist). In their pursuit of their guide, the explorers encounter the cave dwellers who lead them deeper into the depths of the earth. Suddenly the cave begins to collapse and our doomed explorers realize there is no way out! Although the composition is based on the twelve-tone system, it does in fact have a tonal center of A. Permutations of the row forms do not necessarily adhere strictly to the rules of dodecaphony and often groups of pitches are extracted from splitting the matrix into four quadrants or derived from a six-note motive. This motive is also dispersed throughout the parts and further developed within the confines of the matrix. The second and third movement, however, present row forms in their entirety. In the third movement, the three instruments play off of each other until they converge in unison, which is a quote from the first movement. Then the clarinet and violin begin on the opposite ends of the matrix and work their way until they converge on the last note of the piece with the piano taking its pitches from the original row form. The work was not initially intended to be programmatic, but the story evolved as the composition took shape.
I - Into the Earth (5:39)
II - Cave Dwellers (5:00)
III - No Way Out (2:18)
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