Eastman American Music Series, Vol. 6

Eastman American Music Series

Volume 6

Israel • Levinson • Noon • Stern

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 American 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 leaders 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 Undercofler

Director, Eastman School of Music

Notes on the program

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 cross-currents.

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, dodecaphony, 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

Producer, Eastman American Music Series

Brian Israel (1951-1986) studied at Lehman College-CUNY as an undergraduate, and earned M.A. and D.M.A.. degrees from Cornell University in 1975. His composition teachers included Lawrence Widdoes, Ulysses Kay, Robert Palmer, Burrill Phillips, and Karel Husa. After completing graduate studies, he taught at Syracuse University for 12 years until his untimely death at the age of 35. Widely respected as a composer, teacher, and performer, his legacy includes more than 50 commissioned works which have been performed by the Syracuse Opera, Utica Symphony, Syracuse Camerata, Catskill Chamber Players, Cornell University, Eastman School of Music, Skaneateles Festival, and the Society for New Music.

Israel's In Praise of Practically Nothing, for tenor voice and an eight-player chamber ensemble (flute, bassoon, horn, percussion, piano, violin, cello and double-bass) was completed in 1980 in Syracuse, N.Y. Set to poems by Samuel Hoffenstein, the texts range from silly spoofs to the more spiritual; all are heart-felt, serious works. The accompanying instruments each have particular moments to come to the foreground to plead their case, including most appropriate percussion solos for ratchet and paper bag. Israel's settings use eclectic musical language that can be corny and obfuscated at times. Parodies of 19th century banal gestures and goofy harmonic-third relationships alternate with quasi-mediaevalisms and avant-garde dribblings; all find a momentary home in this composer's full gamut of expression.

Gerald Levinson is professor of music and former chair of the Department of Music and Dance at Swarthmore College, where he has served on the faculty since 1977. Born in 1951, he studied composition with George Crumb, Richard Wernick, and George Rochberg as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. He continued his studies with Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago and Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. In 1979-80, Levinson traveled to Bali to compose and to study Balinese music as a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar, and returned there in 1982-83 as a Guggenheim Fellow. He has received composition awards from BMI, the New England Conservatory, East and West Artists, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, he received the Music Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which cited his "sensitive poetic spirit" and "imaginative treatment of texture and color."

Levinson's music has been widely performed in the United States, France and England under the direction of such notable conductors as Gerard Schwartz, Gunther Schuller, Hugh Wolff, Oliver Knussen, Mark Elder, and Sir Simon Rattle. Commissioned by many major orchestras and ensembles, his principal works include two song cycles with chamber ensembles (in dark and Black Magic/White Magic, both recorded as part of the Albany Records Eastman American Music Series), three works for chamber orchestra (Light dances/stones sing, Chant des rochers, and For the Morning of the World), two large-scale symphonies, four other works for large orchestra (Two Poems, Sea Changes, Five Fires, and From Erebus and Black Night), and numerous pieces for chamber ensembles, keyboard, and band. Levinson's music is published by Theodore Presser Co. A CD of his music appears on the CRI label, and several works have been recorded for forthcoming CRI releases.

Levinson writes: "in dark was written in 1972 to a poem by Nanine Valen and two by Robert Lax (which were in fact written as postcards to Nanine Valen). In attempting to capture the various shades of nocturnal imagery in the poems, I felt I reached a sort of musical coming of age; this was the most personal of

my early pieces, and represents my opus 1. Its open, inclusive approach to musical color and materials, if not very much of its actual sound and style, has continued to form the basis of my subsequent musical explorations.

"The piece is built in a five-part arch form. In the first and last movements, the wordless voice is used as one of the instruments in the ensemble. In the second and fourth movements (the two poems of Robert Lax) the voice emerges into song, extending the sparse syllables of the poetry into long traceries. The third movement is itself symmetrical, an instrumental scherzo surrounding the central poem (by Nanine Valen). Here, the words, treated as pure speech, are themselves the music, blending with the instrumental sounds.

"The harmonic language partly offsets this symmetry. The first, second and fifth movements are largely modal; the third movement unfolds as if in a chromatic mist, which in the following movement condenses into undulating clusters against the chromatic melody. The distinctive timbre of the ensemble results from the unusual choice of instruments: the flute family is represented by alto and bass flutes, and the strings by viola and cello, with the added resonances of piano, harp, and metallic percussion. The result is a low, soft-edged, mysterious atmosphere somewhat in the tradition of Ravel's Trois poèmes de Mallarmé (which, however, I did not know at the time). There are also evident influences from my first teacher, George Crumb, and from Olivier Messiaen, who was later to become my last teacher."

David Noon was born of Pennsylvania Dutch, Welsh, and Native American heritage in Johnstown, Pa. in 1946. His formal musical education began at the age of 8 when he started lessons on the clarinet, the first of many instruments he learned to play as a child. He began studies in composition as an undergraduate at Pomona College; received a master's degree in musicology from New York University, where he studied Medieval music with Gustave Reese; and earned M.M.A. and D.M.A. degrees in composition from Yale University. His composition teachers have included Karl Kohn, Darius Milhaud, Charles Jones, Yehudi Wyner, Mario Davidovsky, and Wlodzimierz Kotonski.

From 1973 to 1976, Noon taught music theory and composition at the School of Music at Northwestern University, and in 1976, was composer in residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. Currently, Noon is chair of the composition and music history departments and director of undergraduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has served on the faculty since 1981.

Noon has received composition prizes from BMI, Pomona College, Yale University, the Young Musicians Foundation, the Aspen Music Festival, and ASCAP. Among his many commissions are those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pomona College, Chamber Music America, and the Houston Symphony. In 1996, Noon was named composer artist-in-residence at the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in New York City.

Of his Six Chansons, op. 32, Noon writes: "While residing in Warsaw, Poland, in 1972 as a Fulbright Fellow in composition, I set about translating six of my favorite poems of the great Chinese master of the late T'ang dynasty, Meng Chiao (731-814 A.D.), into French. At first, I thought it a bit strange, an American in Poland translating Chinese poetry into French. Yet, stranger internationalism has occurred in music. Think of Handel's opera Poro: in that work, a German composer wrote an Italian opera, in Italian, for an English audience about a Greek general who invaded India. Geography makes madmen of us all. Be that as it may, I had in mind using the stark evidence and evocative poetry of Meng Chiao for a set of songs, each with a different instrumental accompaniment. I worked on the set over the next several years, finishing the rough draft in Warsaw, making revisions at Tanglewood in the summer of 1974, and completing the songs in Pomona, Calif. in 1977.

"The Six Chansons are dedicated to my friend and former composition teacher Yehudi Wyner, and to his wife, the wonderful singer Susan Davenny Wyner. Each of the songs is set for a different complement of performers: (1) "Cantique d'un vagabond" for soprano and three flutes; (2) "Une Promenade au temple de l'etang du dragon a Chung-nan" for soprano, two piccolos, flute, harp, piano and two percussionists; (3) "Plainte d'une femme negligee" for soprano, alto flute, bass clarinet, and piano; (4) "La Tristesse des gorges" for soprano and two percussionists; (5) "Cantique d'un vieillard des montagnes" for soprano alone; and (6) "Les Pierres ou le manche se pourrit" for soprano, two flutes, alto flute, bass clarinet, harp, piano, and two percussionists." Six Chansons received its New York City premiere in a performance by Dawn Upshaw, and is recorded here by Renée Fleming."

"The music of Robert Stern lies within the American tradition of clear, penetrating ideas," writes composer Charles Fussell. Blood and Milk songs well illustrates this characteristic of Stern's music.

Music by Stern has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Israel. His works have appeared on the Musica Viva Concert Series (Tel Aviv), the Festival of American Music at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.), the Camden Festival (London), Lukas Foss' "Meet the Moderns" Series (New York City), the Fromm Contemporary Music Series at Harvard University, and the Aspen Music Festival. Howard Hanson, Gunther Schuller, Ralph Shapey, Joan Tower, Joel Smirnoff, Joel Krosnick, Gilbert Kalish, and the Gregg Smith Singers are among some of the many artists who have programmed his compositions. Recent commissions include those from the Library of Congress under the auspices of the McKim Fund, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, and the Apple Hill Chamber Players.

The recipient of many composition awards, Stern won a prize in the prestigious Premio Musicale Città di Trieste in 1979 for his orchestral work Yam Hamelach (The Dead Sea). He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music and ASCAP, and has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and Yaddo. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Transcontinental Music, Rinaldo Press, Music for Percussion, and Vivace Press, and has been recorded on the CRI, Opus One, Advance, GSS, Spectrum, Centaur, Gasparo, Albany Records and Polygram labels.

Robert Stern was born in Paterson, N.J. in 1934. Educated at the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music and the University of California at Los Angeles, he studied composition with Louis Mennini, Kent Kennan, Wayne Barlow, Bernard Rogers, Lukas Foss and Howard Hanson. He has served as resident composer at Hampshire College, Haverford College and Yale University (guest of the Sanford Fellowship), and is currently teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Stern writes: "Blood and Milk Songs takes its name from Blood and Milk Poems, a volume by Ruth Whitman. The lyric quality of the poetry is mirrored in the music, which is propelled by a strong melodic impulse. The entire cycle is characterized by very firm harmonic pillars which reflect the composer's interest in tonality. The score was completed in 1974 and received its first performance in December 1975 by the Pro Musica Moderna of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with Charles Fussell conducting." Subsequent performances of the cycle have been given by the New England Conservatory Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Pro Musica Nova of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, the Haverford-Bryn Mawr Ensemble, and the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players. The 1979 revised version was premiered in October, 1980 by Eastman Musica Nova, with Sydney Hodkinson conducting.

Fussell comments as follows: "The music of Robert Stern in general, and Blood and Milk Songs in particular, is composed in transparent, rhythmically biting textures, with sensuous melodic threads woven throughout. Tonal foundations are never abandoned. His musical impulse is fundamentally lyric and generally avoids a dense expressionistic style of drama. It lies within the American tradition of clear, penetrating ideas, never buried in excessive contrapuntal elaboration."


for tenor and chamber ensemble; based on texts by Samuel Hoffenstein, from Poems in Praise of Practically Nothing and Year In, You're Out

I. Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay Goes Wet (ala gavotta)

I won't get up tomorrow,

or go to bed tonight,

Unless I know the red wine

Is standing by the white.

Oh, I want the red wine,

And I want the white,

Or I'll sleep with my clothes on

Until I look a sight.

I want to live in Pilsen,

I want to live in Cork,

I want to live anywhere

Except in New York.

I want to live in Paris,

In Munich or in Rome,

With a mouth full of bubbles

And a chin full of foam.

Oh, I want the red wine,

And I want the white,

And I want the dark beer

And I want the light.

II. Poor Mr. Heine Suffers

Some Translations and Gives Up (Espressivissimo)

You are simple as a daisy,

You are blushful as a rose,

And your little teeth are pebbles

Over which a streamlet flows.

Nothing innocent as you are

Ever under heaven did go,

Nothing, Fräulein, save your lover,

he who used to think you so.

III. Lullaby (for A.J. Konzen) (Moderato)

Yes, I'll take you to the zoo

To see the yak, the bear, the gnu,

And that's the place where I'll leave,

Sleep, little baby!

You'll see the lion in a rage,

The rhino, none the worse for age;

You'll see the inside of a cage,

Sleep, little baby.

IV. Yes, Dear (Allegretto)

God gave us the blue sky above,

And I'll forgive Him that.

He made your mother, marriage, love,

And I'll forgive Him, that.

God made the grass, the trees, the dew,

And I'll forgive Him that.

He also made such boobs like you,

And that's where He loses out with me!

V. Hymn (Adagio)

He comes at last into the shade

Where men and women weep;

He gives the lover to his maid,

The shepherd to his sheep.

His presence calms the weeping wild

Of the confused throng;

He gives the mother to the child,

The poet to his song.

Peace to the broken heart He brings,

And to the mind repose;

He gives the bird untiring wings,

And summer to the rose.

And though His staff is like a sword,

And like a cloud His breath,

How shall we hail His coming, Lord,

That guise of You called Death?

VI. Morning Song (Presto)

You leap out of bed; you start to get ready;

You dress and you dress until you feel unsteady;

Hours go by, and still you're busy

Putting on clothes, till your brain is dizzy.

Do you flinch? Do you quit? Do you go out naked?

The least little button, you don't forsake it.

What thanks do you get? Well, for all this mess,

When night comes around, you've got to undress.

in dark (three poems of the night)

poetry by Nanine Valen & Robert Lax

I. Adagio (vocalise)

II. Andante (the moon comes down)


















III. Scherzando (in dark)

In dark

thistles quiver

rivers breathe in

quiet smells

of lavender

and wetness wading

in the core of night

is witching through the marsh

and through the thistle brush

is breathing

IV. Lento (they moved like fish)

they moved like fish

through waves of dreams

they moved like fish

through seas of dreams

through waves through

waves, through seas

through seas

they moved like fish

through waves of


V. Liberamente, sempre espressivo (vocalise)

Poems by Robert Lax (II, IV) and Nanine Valen (III); used by permission


poetry by Meng Chiao

1. Wanderer's Song

The thread in the hand of a kind mother

Is the coat on the wanderer's back.

Before he left she stitched it close

In secret fear that he would be slow to return.

Who will say that the inch of grass in his heart

Is gratitude enough for all the sunshine of spring?

2. An Excursion to the Dragon Pool Temple

on Chung-nan

A place which the flying birds do not reach,

A monastery set on the summit of Chung-nan.

The water where the dragon dwells is always blue:

The mountain since the rain lifted is fresher still.

I came out on foot above the white sun,

Sit leaning over the brink of the clear brook.

The soil is cold, the pines and cassias stunted:

The rocks are steep, the path turns off course.

When the evening chimes send off the departing guest

The notes I count drop from the farthest sky.

3. Complaint of a Neglected Wife

My reproach is like a mottled bamboo:

Anguished roots twist beneath.

Before the shoot was out of the ground

Already it bore the scars of secret tears.

4. Sadness of the Gorges

Above the gorges, one thread of sky:

Cascades in the gorges twine a thousand cords.

High up, the slant of splintered sunlight, moonlight:

Beneath, curbs to the wild heave of the waves.

The shock of a gleam, and then another,

In depths of shadow frozen for centuries:

The rays between the gorges do not halt at noon;

Where the straits are perilous, more hungry spittle.

Trees lock their roots in rotted coffins

And the twisted skeletons hang tilted upright:

Branches weep as the frost perches

Mournful cadences, remote and clear.

A spurned exile's shrivelled guts

Scald and seethe in the water and fire he walks through.

A lifetime's like a fine-spun thread,

The road goes up by the rope at the edge.

When he pours his libation into tears to the ghosts in the stream

The ghosts gather, a shimmer on the waves.

5. Song of the Old Man of the Hills

I never go to the plains beneath the hills,

Only on the hillside plant my fields.

The hatchet at my waist chops down the pines in the copse,

The gourd in my hand draws water from the homestead spring.

What do I care for the force of written words?

Let no one heed the shifts of sun and moon.

When the twisted tree at last shall be my body

Then I shall begin to live out my natural span.

6. The Stones Where the Haft Rotted

Wang Chih of the Chin dynasty (265-419) went into the mountains (Stone Bridge Mountain) to gather firewood, and saw two boys playing chess. The boys gave him a thing like a date stone, which he ate, and satisfied his hunger. At the end of the game, the boys pointed and said: "Look! Your axe-handle is rotten." When Chih returned to his village, he was 100 years old.

Less than a day in paradise,

And a thousand years have passed among men.

While the pieces are still being laid on the board

All things have changed to emptiness.

The woodman takes the road home,

The haft of his axe has rotted in the wind:

Nothing is what it was but the stone bridge

Still spanning a rainbow cinnabar-red.

(English translations by A.C. Graham from Poems of the Late T'ang, Penguin Books, 1965; used by permission.)

Blood and Milk Songs

poetry by Ruth Whitman


Bearing a child, writing a poem:

both enter life as beings not quite

my own, but nourished by my blood

and my milk.

Song for a Vigil

The bells all suddenly are nine

Be light my leaf the dark is bold

Love hung all night on a sagging vine

His grape a burr, his leaf a spine,

But now the clocks are ringing nine

Love shook all night in heavy cold,

His song a cry, his kisses old,

Be light my leaf the dark is bold

He comes with feet as bare as mine

And helps me stamp the bitter wine,

For all the clocks are ringing nine.

Be light my leaf the dark is bold.


that first pang of air

daggered me fish to man.

Child of my dark,you

And I were almost one.

all the walls fell away.

nothing held me

Now my body and I are

Almost two, part

but the giant light,

and I fell, or flew

Catapult for your despair,

And, for your anger and alarm,

then drew my brandnew breath

Part suckling heart.

and screamed.

A Daughter Cuts Her Hair

Once upon a time

a cat princess,

wanting to grow up,

cut off her golden hair,

and as it floated to the floor


dropped from her,

yellow years curled gently with the dust.


I keep my clocks a little fast

so time won't take me by surprise.

Lest crows tread harshly round my eyes

I keep my clocks a little fast.

I push ahead the hands of past

before the future tints my hair.

I race the hours through the air

so time won't take me by surprise.

Before the spider bygone dries

I cobble cobwebs on my last.

I keep my clocks a little fast

so time won't take me by surprise.

Letter to

my dove, my unicorn, my deep pool,

my smooth pebble, my pulse, my amethyst,

my sleep, my music, my forest fern,

my greygreen wave. My ocean.

Your thirsty shore,

Prologue, Antiphonal, Song for a Vigil and Round from BLOOD & MILK POEMS (October House, 1963) © by Ruth Whitman; A Daughter Cuts Her Hair from THE MARRIAGE WIG (Harcourt Brace, 1968) © Ruth Whitman; Letter to from THE NATION (1973) © Ruth Whitman; used by permission.

Renée Fleming, soprano, received her master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and now enjoys an international operatic career. Ms. Fleming made this recording with the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble in 1983 while she was a student at Eastman. A Fulbright Scholar, she won the Metropolitan Opera national auditions in 1988. In addition to regular appearances at the Met, she has performed at the Spoleto Festival, La Scala, the Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Teatro Colon, Covent Garden and Carnegie Hall.

Jeffrey Fahnestock, tenor, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory. He has held fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, Kent/Blossom Music, and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festial. In 1994, he made his European debut in Munich, in a recital of music by 20th-century American composers. Mr. Fahnestock teaches voice at Dickinson College and Susquehanna University.

Elizabeth Fulford Miller, soprano, received bachelor of music and master of music degrees in voice from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Jan DeGaetani. She received a master of library science degree from Catholic University, currently is a librarian and network specialist for the Library of Congress.

Deborah Kraus, mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied voice with Masako Ono Toribara. Active as a performer and teacher, Ms. Kraus presents solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the Eastern seaboard, and specializes in the premiering of contemporary works. A resident of Montreal, she records with Radio Canada, CBC-TV, and EMI Records.

Sydney Hodkinson, director of Eastman Musica Nova, the Eastman School's primary contemporary music ensemble, from 1973-1997, holds a joint appointment as professor of composition and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music. A noted composer as well as conductor, Mr. Hodkinson's works appear on the Nonesuch, CRI, Advance, Grenadilla, INNOVA, Novisse, Centaur, and Louisville labels.

All selections were recorded in the Kresge Recording Studios of the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. Session engineer, Ros Ritchie. Remastering/digital editing engineer, Brian Sarvis. Digital signal processing by Dusman Audio, Rochester, N.Y. Producer for the Eastman American Music Series: Sydney Hodkinson. Production supervision by David Dusman, Esther Gillie, David Peelle, and Suzanne Stover.

The cover is a portion of a painting by Ilya Bolotowsky, Untitled (Relational Painting), 1950, from the collection of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Marion Stratton Gould Fund. The entire work may be assembled by the joining of this cover with others in this series. Concept and artwork preparation by Marybeth Crider, creative arts manager, Eastman School of Music.

Brian Israel, In Praise of Practically Nothing

Jeffrey Fahnestock, tenor

Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble: Courtenay Hardy, flute; Charles Hansen, bassoon; Gustav John Rieckhoff III, horn; Lee Joiner, violin; Elizabeth Anderson, cello; Jeffrey Turner, double bass; Cary Ratcliff, piano; Frank Baluffi, percussion; Sydney Hodkinson, conductor.

Recorded in the Eastman Theatre 11/29/82 by Ros Ritchie; Sydney Hodkinson and John Santuccio, producers.

Levinson, in dark

Elizabeth Fulford, soprano

Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble; Diana Basso, flute, piccolo; Sylvia Davis, alto flute, flute; Laura Kuennen, viola; Walter Preucil, cello; John Manno, harp; Bryan Pezzone, piano; Howard Joines and Howard Potter, percussion; Sydney Hodkinson, conductor.

Recorded in the Eastman Theatre 1/17/82 by Ros Ritchie; Sydney Hodkinson and John Santuccio, producers.

Noon, Six Chansons, Op. 32

Renée Fleming, soprano

Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble: Stacia Cronin and Hali Fieldman, flute and piccolo; Susan Reath, flute and alto flute; Norman Boehm, piano; Frank Balluffi and Kristen Shiner, percussion; Alan Keating, bass clarinet; Sydney Hodkinson, conductor.

Recorded in the Eastman Theatre 1/24/83 by Ros Ritchie; John Santuccio, producer.

Stern, Blood and Milk Songs

Elizabeth Fulford, soprano; Deborah Kraus, mezzo-soprano

Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble: Polly Meyerding, flute/alto flute/piccolo; Timothy Maloney, clarinet/bass clarinet; Hazel Mulligan, violin; Elizabeth Anderson, cello; Gregory Sandell, piano/celesta; Deborah Nyack, harp; Robert Saenz and Howard Potter, percussion; Sydney Hodkinson, conductor.

Recorded in Eastman Theatre 11/14/81 by Ros Ritchie.

Produced by Sydney Hodkinson and John Santuccio.

Brian Israel

In Praise of Practically Nothing

1. Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay Goes Wet (2:15)

2. Poor Mr. Heine Suffers Some Translations and Gives Up (1:32)

3. Lullabye (1:23)

4. Yes, dear (2:11)

5. Hymn (5:04)

6. Morning Songs (1:54)

Jeffrey Fahnestock, tenor

Gerald Levinson

in dark

7. Adagio (vocalise) (3:29)

8. Andante (the moon comes down) (2:35)

9. Scherzando (in dark) (2:44)

10. Lento (they moved like fish) (2:48)

11. Liberamente, sempre espressivo (vocalise) (3:37)

Elizabeth Fulford, soprano

David Noon

Six Chansons

12. Wanderer's Song (1:56)

13. An Excursion to the Dragon Pool Temple on Chung-nan (3:23)

14. Complaint of a Neglected Wife (1:30)

15. Sadness of the Gorges (3:16)

16. Song of the Old Man of the Hills (2:42)

17. The Stones Where the Haft Rotted (3:05)

Renée Fleming, soprano

Robert Stern

Blood and Milk Songs

18. Prologue (1:19)

19. Song for a Vigil (3:45))

20. Antiphonal (1:28)

21. A Daughter Cuts Her Hair (2:55)

22. Round (3:00)

23. Letter to (3:25)

Elizabeth Fulford, soprano · Deborah Kraus, mezzo-soprano

Total Time = 61:52

Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble · Sydney Hodkinson, conductor