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Monday, July 10, 2006
Fred Lerdahl: Time After Time
Fred Lerdahl
Time After Time; Marches; Oboe Quartet; Waves
Columbia Sinfonietta/Jeffrey Milarsky, Antares, La Fenice, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Bridge Records

Fred Lerdahl is a well-known theorist whose ideas about the roots of tonality have had a great deal of influence on theorists and composers alike. These theories are reflected in his music in a thoroughly expressive way. The language is expansively tonal, with an appealing rhythmic impulse.

Two very different approaches to musical art are in evidence on this disc of Mr. Lerdahlís music. Some of his music relies heavily on references to other musical styles (Waves and Marches from the present collection) and some of it is more self-contained (Time After Time and the Oboe Quartet). For my money, the more self-contained pieces are more assured and directly expressive, while the referential pieces are at times cool and distanced.

Iíve alluded to the composerís rhythmic style and assured use of expanded tonality, but the technical feature that stands out the most to me is his orchestration. These pieces really soundóthe textures are clear and bright, and every instrument can be heard and its role in the proceedings followed. The Oboe Quartet in particularly is expertly scored.

The playing by all participants is of the highest quality, and Bridgeís sound is, as usual, first rate.

 



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