ROGER REYNOLDS (b.1934): Complete Piano Works - Fantasy, Traces for Piano, Flute, Cello, Live Electronics and Tape, imAge/piano, Epigram and Evolution, Variation, imagE/piano, The Angel of Death for Piano, Chamber Orchestra and 6-channel computer processed sound, Less Than Two for 2 Pianos, 2 Percussions and Tape.
Catalogue Number: 11L115
Description: In his notes, which (appropriately, given their content and subject) will not be written until six months from now according to the date printed in the booklet, Yuji Takahashi refers to the predictive and referential relationships between complex textural webs of material, arranged according to mathematical constructs. The first disc, which contains works for solo piano alone, traces the composer's evolution in piano writing from his earliest extant piano piece, 1960's Epigram to two pieces from recent years, and the increasing complexity of interaction between contrasting material is plainly charted in the process. The earliest pieces are post-Webernian serial, with some introduction of alternative playing techniques; by 1988's Variation, the mathematical combination of three types, or species of material as much as themes in a conventional sense, has become very complex indeed, creating a 'memory maze' in Takahashi's phrase. The most recent pieces, the Images, the emphasized 'A' in one standing for 'articulate' the 'E' in the other for 'evocative' represent a kind of summing-up, re-combining material from the earlier works in complementary pieces of enigmatic, self-contradictory nature. The second disc contains the works with piano and other instruments, including electronics, and here the composer's taste for the expansion of timbre and spatial presentation of his music is displayed to full effect. Traces, from 1968, uses live ring modulation of the instrumental timbres to add a layer of timbre manipulation over and above the instrumental 'tracing' of the gestures and harmonics of the piano. Less than Two is written for the Bartók Sonata combination, plus tape, and represents a musical flow of transformed pitch groups between the pianos, while the tape and percussion parts provide an interactive timbral background. Twenty years later, The Angel of Death involves more sophisticated computer processing and a larger ensemble, in a complex psychodrama of multi-faceted views of a virtual life cycle, in overlapping and evolving maps of the same constituent material. Yuji Takahashi, Eric Huebner, Marilyn Nonken (piano), Jean-Charles François, Delores Stevens (duo pianists), Karen Reynolds (flute), Lin Barron (cello), Daniel Dunbar, Daryl Pratt (percussion). 2 CDs.