JEFFREY RYAN (b.1962): Symphony No. 1 "Fugitive Colours", Equilateral for Piano Trio and Orchestra, The Linearity of Light.
Catalogue Number: 10N083
Description: "Yes, this was thoroughly modern music, with all that implies: an abundance of percussion, the occasional deployment of extended techniques, and well-masked quotations from the musical past. But it was also modern music that fell more on the sensual side of the scale than the intellectual. Ryan prefers smooth textures to thorny melodic conundrums, and his first symphony shows, appropriately enough, that he has a masterful command of instrumental colour. It's hard to grasp anything this complex and innovative in one sitting, but I was impressed by Ryan's use of percussion--gongs, drums, and marimba--to shoot sustained, almost electronic washes of sound through his first-movement string and horn arrangements. The work's second section contained a series of slow melodic upwellings, culminating in a lengthy passage of shimmering, near-ambient strings." - Georgia Straight (a Vancouver on-line news-site) on the 2006 symphony. The descriptions of the music apply equally to the other two pieces here, the 11-minute Linearity (2003) and the 24-minute triple concerto from 2007. Gorgeous sound colors and interesting rhythms will appeal to all collectors of 20th century non-minimalist and non-complexicist orchestral music. Gryphon Trio, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Bramwell Tovey.