Eastman American Music Series, Vol. 9 - New Music Mix

A Message from the Director

The Eastman School of Music is pleased to be a partner with Albany Records in the production of this series featuring n composers. Beginning with the appointment of Howard Hanson as director in 1924 and proceeding consistently ­ever since, the Eastman School has stood for innovation in American music. While the Hanson era was characterized by consistency of genre as he established his concept of American music, succeeding generations of Eastman rs and composers have promoted diversity in expressive means. These recordings are a fine example of this lat­ter principle of exploration and discovery.

The series follows in Eastman's spirit of promoting opportunities for artists with significant voices to be heard in a soci­ety increasingly seduced by clutter. I salute Albany for its commitment to higher ideals.

James Undercover Director, Eastman School of Music

Notes On The Series

From roughly the late 1930s through the early 1960s, most serious American composers worked within one of two basic musical encampments, continuing and expanding upon traditions established by the 20th century giants Schoenberg and Stravinsky. In striking contrast to this earlier era, today's younger generation of composers benefits from expo­sure to what has been called "a veritable salad bowl of styles," marked by an extremely wide range of char­acter, aesthetics, and musical crosscurrents.

The works represented in this Eastman American Music Series of new music recordings bear eloquent testimony to the effect this healthy and diverse musical diet has had on the work of American composers. Various auditory repasts offer composers a choice of forms and influ­ences from such divergent sources as jazz, non-Western music, romanticism, dodecapho-ny, minimalism, pop and rock, asceticism, "cross-over," and spiritualism - and all on the same menu!

This variety serves both as a high-calorie, vibrant sign of our own creative times, and

as a demanding burden placed upon American composers seeking, indeed groping

for, their own unique voices: "Red or green peppers? Radish? How much onion?

What kind of lettuce? How do I choose my OWN language that will allow me to

speak what I need to say?" The works recorded here present the distinct and

often unusual offerings of a few leading, contemporary American "workers" in the

sonic kitchen.

Sydney Hodkinson Project Director, Eastman American Music Series

New Music Mix

In the Spring of 1997 the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, presented the Eastman School with the idea of doing a collaborative exchange concert between the two institutions. Their idea was to mix Eastman and Freiburg facul­ty and students together in the performance of music written by faculty composers from both schools. It was their hope that this sort of collaborative venture between student and faculty performers and composers would bring the two schools closer together and help strengthen their exchange relationship. That initial idea was realized with concerts in Rochester, NY, in October 1997 and in Freiburg, Germany, in February 1998, as well as this CD which was recorded at the Sudwestrundfunk Landesstudio in Freiburg, Germany.


TARO is the final piece in a series of compositions where I tried to achieve a contemporary kind of ritual atmosphere in the widest sense of its meaning. While my earlier pieces in this series were written for two players, TARO was extended to five. The larger group naturally calls for increased demands on the performers in their abilities to interact and play together.

TARO uses a basic melody like a cantus firmus which is opposed by a rhythmical counterpoint and structuralized by a series of accents. The somewhat "minimalistic" interaction is caused, for example, by the fact that the two pianists must play together in unison. Although the texture could be real­ized much more easily by one player, it would destroy the basic compositorical idea. Sometimes the rhythmic counterpoint of the percussion line must follow the timing of the pianists, but in connection with special pitches (long durations and accents in the piano), the percussion texture determines the timing of the pianists. All these princi­ples and interactions are based on my experiences practicing Balinese and West-Javanese music. TARO therefore is no imitation of a foreign culture, but rather an attempt to realize a different concept of playing as its own individual expression in my own culture.

(Dieter Mack)

Giovine vagha, i' non senti (1996) is a composition in one movement which is based upon a two-part "ballata" of the 14th-century composer Francesco Landini which sets the following:

Giovini vagha, i' non senti giammay

Amorosa virtute,

Ma tu, somma salute,

Net cor di me, tuo servo, messa l'ay.

Quando negli chi tuo' primeramente

Si spechi arono miey.

Vividi dentro amor'e puramente

In ver di lui mi fey.

Et non pensando al poter degli dei

Mi stava pargoletto.

Poi cercandomi el petto

Lo stral dorato dentro vi trovay.

A translation of this medieval text is:

Comely maiden, I never felt love's virtue, but you,

the highest good, have placed it in my heart,

your servant.

When first my eyes were mirrored in yours,

I saw Love inside and in seeing it I became pure.

And not thinking of the power of the gods I was like

a child, but then I found within my breast the

golden arrow.

Giovine vagha, i' non senti may be performed along with an arrangement for violin and 'cello of the original two part composition by Landini. If this is done, the Landini original should precede the performance of the instrumental sextet, with very little pause between the two works. (For the performance on this CD the original Landini was played both before and after the sextet.)

An earlier version of the composition was written in 1986 for flute, trumpet, trombone, violin, 'cello, and piano. The 1996 version is composed for and dedicated to the New YorK New Music Ensemble.

(David Liptak)

Klavierstuck II, "........et Camees" (1990): A camee, or cameo in English, is a semi-precious stone that has been artis­tically cut in relief. The absolute strictness of the form, the symmetry of sound and proportion, and the glassy, metallic beauty of Theophile Gautier's famous collection of poetry, "Emaux et Camees" (Paris, 1859) are some of the things that impress me about his lyric poetry. Also impressive to me is the almost symbolistic effect of depth in his images which moved Stephane Mallerme to speak of them as his "maitre inaccessible dont la beaute me desespere."

(Eckehard Kiem)

These TWO POEMSbegan life as separate pieces requested by the American 'cellists Amy Controulis and Steven Doane, but, as labours progressed, the first more dramatic setting seemed to function as a lengthy prelude to the sec­ond which is generally calmer and more harmonically static. Both are designed as extended elegies in modified arch-form (the first: ABCDAB, the second ABCBA).

The subtitle derives from a few lines of the American poet Theodore Roethke's "The Long Waters" (1964):

And I acknowledge my foolishness with God,

My desire for the peaks, the black ravines, the rolling mists

Changing with every twist of wind.

The unsinging fields where no lungs breathe,

Where light is stone.

The TWO POEMS were written in memory of my friend Stephen Sell (executive director of the Philadelphia Orchestra) who died unexpectedly in mid-life in 1989. It was completed in June of 1989 in Ormond, Florida.

(Sydney Hodkinson)


A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sydney Hodkinson has taught at the Universities of Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and prior to his present appointment, served two years as artist-in-residence in Minneapolis under a grant from the Ford Foundation Contemporary Music Project. He joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 1973 assuming direc­tion of the Eastman Musica Nova, and more recently, the Kilbourn Orchestra. Beginning in the fall of 1995, Hodkinson assumed teaching duties in the Composition Department at the Eastman School, where he was professor of composi­tion and chair of the Conducting/Ensembles Department until his retirement in December of 1998.

Eckehard Kiem has taught at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg since 1974, where he has been professor of music theory since 1978. Kiem's music has been performed at many festivals of contemporary music, including Sinzig, Baden-Baden and the Tage fur Neue Musik, Stuttgart. He has collaborated with several radio stations (SWF, SDR and WDR) and is a founding member of the Gesellschaft fur Musik und Aesthetik. Eckehard Kiem is also co-editor of the periodical "Musik und Aesthetik."

David Liptak's music has been performed by such ensembles as the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and by many soloists and chamber ensembles. Among his recorded

music is a CD for Gasparo which features his SEVEN SONGS, performed by William Sharp with pianist Anton Nel. He was awarded the 1995 Elise L. Stoeger Prize, given by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of distinguished acheivement in the field of chamber music composition. He is professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music.

Dieter Mack began teaching in 1980 with various lecture­ships for music theory, Balinese music and improvisation at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, Trossingen and Basel/Switzerland. In 1986 he was appointed pro­fessor for music theory in Freiburg. Early in his career he had strong interests in jazz, rock-music and contemporary electronic music. From 1977 - 1981 he was assistant at the Experimental studio of the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des SWF. In 1977 he began to work in the field of ethnomusicology with a focus on Balinese culture. He lived in Ball at various times, and in

1982 he founded a Balinese gamelan group in Freiburg. After a tour in Southeast-Asia in 1988 he received various invitations for compo­sition workshops in Indonesia. From 1992 -1995 he was guest lecturer at IKIP-Bandung and helped in establishing a new curriculum for music teachers. He was also a member of the national curriculum committee of Indonesia. In 1991 he was "composer-in-residence" at the School of Music at Victoria University in Wellington/New Zealand.


Anne Harrow is on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music where she is Instructor of Flute, Piccolo and Woodwind Chamber Music. She is solo flutist of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta and performs with the Eastman Virtuosi. Ms. Harrow is formerly principal flutist of the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival.

Christopher Hutton first traveled from his home city of Wellington, New Zealand, to the United States in early 1986. In 1995 he graduated from Boston University where he studied the 'cello with Leslie Parnas and chamber music with violist Eugene Lehher and the Muir String Quartet. In 1995 he also earned the Licentiate Diploma of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM), and was a winner of Boston University's Edward E. Stein Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Alex Lindsay Award. He completed his master of music degree in Performance and Literature at Eastman and is now working toward the doctor of musical arts degree with the support of the Jerald C. Graue Fellowship, and the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee William Georgetti Scholarship.

Hansjorg Koch began his academic studies in piano in 1977 at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, Germany where he studied with Professors Jurgen Klodt, James Avery and Ramon Walter. He pursued graduate studies at Iowa University, where he was a teaching assistant as he studied for his doctor of musical arts degree. In 1984 he won the Bloomington competition for piano, and since 1986 has been piano teacher at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg. Mr. Koch has pur­sued a concert career as both a soloist and a chamber musician. His repertoire includes pieces from all stylistic periods, with a special interest and preference for the music of the 20th century. Concert tours have brought him to the USA, the former USSR, Ukraine and Indonesia, as well as many European countries.

Yasuko Miyamoto was born in Sizuoka, Japan,in 1970, She took her first marimba lessons at the age of six. In 1988 she became a percussion student at the Doshisha Womens College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, Japan, where she earned her degree in 1992. Since 1994 she has studied with Professor Bernhard Wulff and Professor Taijiro Miyazaki at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where she received her master's degree with highest honors in 1996. She won 4th prize at the International Marimbaphon Competition in Luxembourg in 1995, and was a finalist in the international ARD Music Competition in Munich, Germany, in 1997.

Ramon Ricker is Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Ricker has been a full-time Eastman faculty member since 1972, and a member of the clarinet section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 1973. He frequently performs as a guest saxophone and clarinet soloist and clinician in high schools and colleges throughout Europe and North America, and his books on jazz improvisation and saxophone technique as well as many of his compositions for jazz ensemble are looked to as stan­dards in the field with over 125,000 copies sold world-wide and translations in French and Japanese. His most notable publishers include Alphonse LEDUC Schirmer (New York), Jamie Aebersold (Indiana) and Advance Music (Germany).

Violinist Jeff Thayer, a student of Zvi Zeitlin, received his bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music. He is a graduate of the Juilliard Pre-College, where he was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay and Piotr Mileski. He has participated in the Interlochen Quartet Program, Aspen, and Music Academy of the West Summer music festivals.

Mathias Trapp studied from 1986-1991 at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg with Prof. Karl Betz. He continued his grad­uate studies in Freiburg with a master's degree with Karl Betz and Tibor Szasz. In 1993/94 he was the Freiburg exchange student at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Fernando Laires. Mr. Trapp often concertizes throughout Europe and the United States. Recent performances include recitals at the first international Liszt Festival in Bechyne, Czechoslovakia, and a piano concert on the world exhibition in Lisboa, that is recorded and published with BMG records. Mr. Trapp teaches piano at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, Germany.