Autumn Rhythms - New Flute Music


Autumn Rhythms

Meyer Kupferman: Four Abstractions for solo flute (1992)

  1. Water of the Flowry Mille (Arshile Gorky) (3:46)

  2. Attic (Willem de Kooning) (3:46)

  3. Untitled [Number 13] (Mark Rothko) (4:54)

  4. Autumn Rhythm (Jackson Pollock) (2:37)

John Solum, Flute

Leo Kraft: Cloud Studies for twelve flutes (1989/91)

  1. Calm (2:58)

  2. Flowing (2:37)

  3. Moving Steadily, lyric (2:42)

  4. Swiftly (2:19)

  5. Quiet and calm throughout (1:56)

  6. Fast (1:46)

Lisa Maron, Margaret Swinchoski, piccolos; Adrienne Flynn, Tanya Dusevic, Zara Lawler, Dian Taublieb, Josep Piscitelli, Dominique Soucy, Christina Jennings, Michelle Ryang, flutes; Laurel Ann Maurer, Richard Wyton, alto flutes; John Solum, conductor

Ezra Laderman: Epigrams and Canons for two baroque flutes (1989)

  1. Canon on Do: Lively (0:34)

  2. Pointed, spirited (0:25)

  3. Canon on Mi: Moderato (0:43)

  4. With brilliance (0:30)

  5. Canon on Sol: Measured (0:57)

  6. Presto (0:25)

  7. Canon on Ti: Andantino (0:59)

  8. Allegro vivace (0:48)

John Solum, Richard Wyton, baroque flutes

Lionel Nowak: Suite for baroque flute and harpsichord (1989)

  1. Reflection I: Gently (4:16)

  2. Romp I: With fire (2:01)

  3. Reflection II: Chaste (2:58)

  4. Romp II: With bite (2:24)

John Solum, baroque flute; Igor Kipnis, harpsichord

Jack Beeson: Fantasy, Ditty and Fughettas for Two baroque flutes (1992)

  1. Fantasy: varying, freely (2:36)

  2. Ditty: simply, with wit (1:36)

  3. Fughettas: moving right along, with good humor (2:48)

John Solum, Richard Wyton, baroque flutes

Otto Luening: Three Fantasias for solo baroque flute (1986)

  1. Allegro vivace (3:55)

  2. Adagio (3:41)

  3. Allegro vivace (3:03)

John Solum, baroque flute

The works on this recording are recently composed flute pieces by six distinguished senior American composers from the generation born in the fist quarter of the 20th century (100-1926). All of the works have been written by these composers at age 65 or older - autumn rhythms and all represent a new departure for each. Four of the works are for the one keyed wooden baroque flute - the flute for which Bach and Mozart composed their flute music. The instrument is now enjoying a remarkable revival as part of the early music movement. On this recording it is heard as a living voice of contemporary American music. The two other works are for the Boehm-system flute - the standard concert flute of today. One was written to be played while view images of four great American abstract paintings. The other explores the unusual sonorities produced by an ensemble of twelve flutes.

Meyer Kupferman (b. 1926): Four Abstractions for solo flute (1992)

Kupferman was educated at Queens College and in 1951 joined the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, from which he retired in 1994. As a composer, he has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. His musical works include opera, orchestral, chamber, keyboard and instrumental pieces as well as vocal and choral works. Four Abstractions was commissioned by John Solum, who requested that the four-movement work should reflect the composer's musical response to four specific abstract paintings which may be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. An ideal performance of this work would feature consecutive visual images of each painting projected on a screen in a darkened hall while each corresponding movement of the work is being played. The four painters (Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock) were leading abstract artists who flourished in and around New York during and immediately following the second world War and were largely responsible for making postwar New York the modern art capital of the world.

Leo Kraft (b. 1922): Cloud Studies for twelve flutes (1989/91)

Kraft received degrees from Queens College and Princeton, studying composition with Rathaus, Randall Thompson and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship. In 1947 he began teaching at Queens College. He has served on the boards of the College Music Society, ISCM, and the American Music Center. His works include orchestral, chamber keyboard, choral and vocal music. He composed Cloud Studies for John Solum and the flute ensemble of Vassar College, where Solum teaches. Kraft's fastidiousness as a composer is exemplified by the fact that Cloud Studies has undergone three revisions, the third of which is recorded here. Two of the flutes double on alto flute, and two double on piccolo. The piece is a series of studies in exotic sonorities created by the sound of multiple flutes.

Ezra Laderman (b. 1924): Epigrams and Canons for two baroque flutes (1989)

Laderman received degrees from Brooklyn College and Columbia University, studying composition with Stefan Wolfe, Miriam Gideon, Otto Luening and Douglas Moore. He has taught at Sara Lawrence College, SUNY Binghamton and has served as Dean of the Yale School of Music. For three years he was director of the music program of the National Endowment for the Arts. He composed his Epigrams and Canons at the suggestion of John Solum for a concert organized by Solum at CAMI Hall, New York, for the New York Flute Club on January 28, 1990, devoted exclusively to flute music by Laderman to mark the composer's 65th birthday. Epigrams and Canons is published by Oxford University in the NFA 20th-Anniversary Anthology of American Flute Music, of which Solum served as editor.

Lionel Nowak (b. 1911): Suite for Baroque flute and harpsichord (1989)

Nowak studied composition at the Cleveland Institute with Herbert Elwell, Roger Sessions and Quincy Porter. He ha taught for many years at Bennington College, before which he taught at Syracuse University, Converse College, and served as musical director of the now legendary Charles Weidman-Doris Humphrey Dance Company. Suite for baroque flute and harpsichord was written at the request of John Solum and was given its first performance at Skinner Recital Hall, Vassr College, on November 28, 1989, with Ignor Kipnis, harpsichord, and Solum, baroque flute. This work, like the three other works recorded here on period instruments, is performed at a typical 18th century pitch of A-415, about a half step below modern pitch.

Jack Beeson (b. 1921): Fantasy, Ditty and Fughettas for two baroque flutes (1992)

Beeson attended the Eastman School, studying composition with Burrill Phillips, Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. In 1945 he began his long association with Columbia University becoming professor of music in 1967 and serving as department chairman from 1968-72. He has won the Rome Prize and has received Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships. He is especially noted for his talents in writing for voice, having written eight operas including Lizzie Borden (recorded on CRI). Fantasy, Ditty and Fughettas was commissioned by John Solum, who had long admired the composers Sonata Canonica (1966) for two recorders and who felt that Beeson could write an equally fine piece for two baroque flutes. The resulting work was completed in June of 1992 and was given its first performance by Solum and Richard Wyton on August 29 of that year at the Music Mountain Festival, Falls Village, Connecticut.

Otto Luening (b. 1900): Three Fantasieas for solo baroque flute (1986)

Luening has been a central figure in American music for much of the 20th century. He studied composition in Europe with Jarnach and Busoni. His teaching positions have brought him to the Eastman School, University of Arizona, Bennington College and Columbia University. He has been extremely influential as well in fostering composer's organizations (he is co-founder of Composers Recordings, Inc.) and his prolific musical output includes music in all areas. He is especially important as a pioneer in electronic music. His Three Fantasias were commissioned by John Solum, who asked Luening (himself a flutist) to compose a work specifically for the on-keyed wooden baroque flute. Luening responded enthusiastically to the commission, and in dedicating the work to Solum, wrote, “For John Solum, who had the idea and got me started in new (old) directions.” Solum gave the first performance on November 12, 1986, at Vassar College. Luening has said that the Fantasias may be performed individually or as a set.

About the Soloists

John Solum made his debut as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and has since performed as flute soloist and chamber music player in 37 countries. He is internationally known for his recordings on many European and American labels and has appeared at leading festivals throughout the world. Equally at home as a player of both the modern silver flute and the 18th century wooden or ivory flute, Solum has been an active figure in the early music movement. He is artistic director of the Connecticut Early Music Festival and for ten years directed the Bath Summer School of Baroque Music in England. He is on the faculty of Vassar College and has edited numerous editions of music for Oxford University Press, the publishers of his book, The Early Flute.

Richard Wyton made his professional debut at the age of twelve singing a role in Benjamin Britten's Curlew River with the New York City Opera. As a flutist and recorder player he has appeared coast-to-coast on both modern and historical instruments at universities and concert societies. He has performed with the Hielicon ensemble under Albert Fuller, with the Grande Bande under Frederick Renz, at the festivals of Music Mountain, Wolf Trap, Caramoor and the Connecticut Early music Festival, of which he also serves at the executive director. He has appeared as soloist on National Public Radio and has recorded for Arabesque Recordings. He also serves as national treasurer of the National Flute Association.

Igor Kiponis has performed in recital and as soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel, and Australia. He is a prolific recording artist with 77 albums to his credit, 55 of them solo. Among the honors he has received are six “Grammy” nominations, three “Record of the Year” awards from Stereo Review and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Illinois Wesleyan University. His wide-ranging interests in music are reflected in part by the numerous works written for him by such contemporary composers as George Rochberg, Ned Rorem, Barbara Kolb, Eric Salzman, John McCabe and Richard Rodney Bennett.

Produced and engineered by Gregory K. Squires.

Edited by Wayne Hileman and Arlo McKinnon, Jr.

Recorded under the auspices of the Connecticut Early Music Society, Inc., at Skinner Recital Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, on March 24-26, 1994.

The baroque flutes used by John Solum and Richard Wyton are copies by Thomas Prescott of a c.1750 boxwood one-keyed flute by Carl August Grenser in the Dayton C. Miller Collection at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The harpsichord used by Igor Kipnis is a copy by Milan Misina (1985) after a 1769 Taskin two-manual instrument in the Russell Collection, Edinburgh; 8' 8' 4', buff on upper 8'; Siberian turkey quills.