JENNIFER HIGDON (b.1962): String Poetic, JOHN ADAMS (b.1946): Road Movies, LOU HARRISON (1917-2003): Grand Duo, CARL RUGGLES (1876-1971): Mood.
Catalogue Number: 05J104
Reference: CDR 90000 103
Description: These works are all readily accessible, despite their wide range of idiom. Higdon's five evocative movements share an open-air quality that makes them most appealing; although she uses some dissonant effects and mild preparation of the piano (muted strings), the overall impression is of an almost popular idiom. The craggy outer movements have something in common with Ruggles' usual idiom (as her minimalist Maze Mechanical movement has with John Adams). The actual Ruggles here is a typically tough but relatively restrained slow movement, assembled posthumously from sketches. Harrison's mellifluous and euphonious work, anchored by ostinati and modal scalar patterns is instantly appealing, with lively dance movements (the Polka is priceless) and an extended melancholy Air, hauntingly beautiful. Adams' Road Movies consists of three movements of rhythmic vitality, the outer process-driven sections irresistibly suggesting the repetitive motions of travel, the slow central movement more gently conversational. Jennifer Koh (violin), Reiko Uchida (piano). Jennifer Koh (violin), Reiko Uchida (piano).