LUKAS FOSS (1922-2009): String Quartet No. 3 (Columbia String Quartet), Music for Six (University of Buffalo Percussion Ensemble), Curriculum Vitae (Guy Klucevsek [accordion]), Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (RoseMarie Freni [mezzo], Robert Dick [flute], Jan Williams [percussion], Yvar Mikhashoff [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 05L122
Description: This group of works from the late 1970s mark the culmination of Foss' most experimental period, marked by improvisational decision-making by the performers (as opposed to true chance procedures). In the case of the q uartet, this leads to a kind of minimalism, with gestures selected by the players and repeated, producing the kind of texture associated with Terry Riley or early Steve Reich. Music For Six, with unspecified instrumentation within given registers, is similarly process-driven; the first section very free; the second minimalistic; the third combining the first two for a sense of accumulating harmonic progress, unexpectedly becoming the background for a synthesizer melody. Curriculum begins with vigorous fragments, chords and clusters, which are later combined randomly in a cadenza; the title refers to quotations and allusions which refer to the composer's musical and personal life. Thirteen ways, after Wallace Stevens' oblique, evocative poetry, is an exercise in exotic tone-colors (with much inventive piano-preparations and extended playing technique) and cunningly stylized vocal rhythms and inflections.