This CD “is a tribute to four mid-20th century new music composers of the San Francisco Bay Area.” Harpist Karen Gottleib’s father was a distinguished ethnomusicologist, and her mother an architect who was an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. Childhood exposure to Indian, Asian and contemporary music styles influenced her musical tastes. Composer Lou Harrison was a family friend. Gottleib has performed and recorded widely and teaches in the Bay Area. The music is generally mildly dissonant, except for Cage’s piece, and generally reflects influences of Southeast Asia, India and the Silk Road. All of the compositions are rather quiet, rambling, and lack the excitement, drama and usual harmonic cadences of classical music of the Baroque through Romantic periods. Harrison’s Music for Harp and Percussion has the most attractive melodies in this reviewer’s opinion. Pleasant enough music, but not thrilling. Ms. Gottleib provides detailed liner notes for each piece.
Lou Harrison: Suite for Cello and Harp (1949). 1. Chorale (1:43). Sad
Pastorale (3:12). Fields on a grey day.
Interlude (1:14). Beneath the sea, strange creatures swim by.
Aria (5:30). Subdued reflections on a long, uneventful life
Chorale (1:50). A sad walk along the beach.
Wayne Peterson: Colloquy for Flute and Harp (1999) (12:00). Chirpy flute, languid harp, plucked and tapped. Excited 3-minute end.
John Cage: In a Landscape (1949) (7:23). Floating, pleasant, continuous melody.
Dan Reiter: Sonata for Flute and Harp (1982) (11:56). Quiet story-telling, with references to Asian Indian motifs.
Lou Harrison: Music for Harp with Percussion (1967-77). Serenade (2:04).
Music for Harp with Percussion (1967-77). Serenade (2:04).
Sonata in Ishartum (1:57).
Beverly’s Troubadour Music (1:30).
Music for Bill and Me (4:29).