FRED LERDAHL (b.1943): Volume 6 - Arches for Cello and Orchestra (Toke Møldrup [cello], Odense Symphony Orchestra; Andreas Delfs), Chaconne (String Quartet No. 4 - Daedalus Quartet), 3 Bagatelles for Violin and Guitar (Movses Pogossian [violin], David Starobin [guitar]), Fire and Ice for Soprano and Double Bass (Elizabeth Fischborn [soprano], Edwin Barker [double bass]), There and Back Again for Solo Cello (Tom Kraines).
Catalogue Number: 02V065
Description: Lerdahl's music invariably has a strong sense of structure, though not of conventional or familiar kinds, and not beholden to any particular school or organizational doctrine. 'Spiral' form, manifested in expanding and contracting variations, is a major innovation of his style, and it can be felt in most of the works here. The cello concerto 'Arches' (Lerdahl prefers 'Dialogues for cello and orchestra) is the major work here, as it is in the composer’s output. Based on a series of cantus fermus cycles, it treats its material tautly but expansively, with an unerring feeling of dramatic progression - the theoretical bases of musical cognition are as central to Lerdahl's idiom as his superb musical craftsmanship, and the way the listener is led through this darkling, rugged landscape in which the intricacies of the journey are of greater importance than the (ambiguous) destination, bears testament to his psychologically informed app. Similarly austere yet compelling is the Fourth Quartet. The first three (12N076) were a self-contained cycle of expanding variation form; the Fourth is a free chaconne with three cycles of variations that become more extrovert as they progress, then recede, while overlapping and obscuring the impression of a series of discrete sections. The Bagatelles are inventive, lyrical miniatures, containing subtle references to Schoenberg and Bartók, and a great deal of ingenuity in their interplay between plucked and bowed strings. Fire and Ice sets Robert Frost's poem four times, in increasingly florid variations that increasingly emphasize the timbral and register differences between voice and instrument.