STACY GARROP (b.1969): String Quartet No 3 "Gaia" (Biava Quartet), Silver Dagger for Piano Trio (Lincoln Trio), In Eleanor's Words for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano (Buffy Baggott [mezzo], Kuang-Hao Huang [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 03M094
Reference: CDR 90000 122
Description: Silver Dagger adapts an Appalachian folk song in a variety of moods and styles, reflecting the oral tradition of a much-varied piece of folk history. The song-cycle sets extended prose texts from the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt, providing a multi-faceted portrait of a remarkable woman of letters, diplomat and humanitarian. The music is tonal, melodically refined and eloquent, in simple, uncluttered textures that provide a framework for the thoughtful narrative of the text clearly to make its point. Drawing on artsong of the past hundred years with a colorful dash of Americana, this style (with attention-grabbing spoken introductions) suits the words perfectly. The quartet is also a tonal work, though in its depiction of various impressions of the personified Earth, the composer employs a range of striking effects, from the wailing glissandi of chaos, suddenly resolved in tonal magnificence in a depiction of creation, to the alarums of an earth besieged by human activities, encompassing along the way lively folk-like dances with a suggestion of a primitive drone, and heartfelt, touching melody. Texts included.