Music Of Our Time, Vol. 5

James Freeman on Orchestra 2001

As a Philadelphia-based ensemble, Orchestra 2001 has always focused its attention generally (though certainly not exclusively) on recent music by composers who live and work in this area. Since our debut concert in 1988, some 60 different Philadelphia-area composers have been represented on our programs, with over 125 different works. Our five com­pact discs in this ongoing series for CRI have included 25 pieces by 11 different Philadelphians. And the repertoire for our various foreign tours to Russia, Denmark, England and Spain has been devoted almost entirely to music by Philadelphians.

Partly because of the historical conservatism of Philadelphia's audiences and its most illustrious cultural organizations, and partly because paradoxically the area is home to an unusually large number of composers of exceptional skill and imagination, it has seemed especially important to champion the new music of our region, to bring it not only to our own local audiences but (through our recordings and tours) to national and international audiences as well. This has been a true "labor of love" for everyone associated with Orchestra 2001, for the recent music of this region has seemed to us extraordinarily varied, rich, exciting, forward-looking and important.

The present two discs explore a small sampling of that richness and variety. The composers represent­ed all share an association with the University of Pennsylvania: from Penn's own present composers (James Primosch, Jay Reise and Anna Weesner), to two of the University's legendary masters (George Crumb and George Rochberg), to one of its most esteemed alumni (Robert Maggio, now a professor at neighboring West Chester University), to the long-time clarinet virtuoso of the Penn Contemporary Players (Arne Running), to a frequent guest lecturer (David Finko). We hope listeners will find in this music the same vitality, power and beauty that we as performers hear in it.

—James Freeman, Artistic Director

River Song begins as an energetic post-minimalist pastorale. Following the initial dotted-rhythmic motto, the main theme—a long arching canonic melody in the horns—is revealed gradually in frag­ments, inexact repetitions, like seedlings which sprout in tiny melodic bursts, layered, in varying lengths and different speeds, flowing over one another, fractal images, all made of the same shape at different magnifications. As the composition flows onward, the main theme winds its way through transforming landscapes formed from traditional elements of the pastorale genre: folk-like melodies, 6/8 meter, moderate tempo, dotted rhythms and open fifths. It is my hope that this nearly continuous Stream of music might yield images of a river journey, both literal and metaphoric. The final section of the work suddenly recalls the music of the opening in a state of remembrance and repose. Composed in Philadelphia, June 19% through January 1997, River Song was commissioned by the Detroit Chamber Winds, funded by grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Faculty Development Council, and the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center.

Robert Maggio


Composed on a commission from the Rosewood Chamber Ensemble, the Septet was begun at Tanglewood in 1984 and completed in New York City in 1985.

The work is in three movements. In the first, a slow introduction and coda frame a faster central section that juxtaposes brief melodic fragments with sharp punctuations.

The second movement involves sustained, slowly evolving music, hazy and echoing. There is a delicate pointillisitc episode and a dense high register climax before a reprise of the opening sustained material.

Repeated figures and irregular rhythmic groupings dominate the finale. The piano is featured in a contrasting softer section; this material returns, fortissimo, near the end of the piece.

  • James Primosch

Fantasies for Voice and Piano

by George Rochberg with texts by Paul Rochberg

These poems are from a group of six Paul Rochberg himself called “Fantasies” and are published in Paul Rochberg, Poems and Stories, Muse of Fire Press, copyright 1990.

Falling In

Falling In is a piece with a refrain. In the open­ing of the piece, an independent-minded trombone line builds briefly and then gives way to this refrain, in a passage featuring the trumpet as part of a full but dis­tant texture. This exchange happens twice and is then fol­lowed by music that might be described as speech-like; it is meant to be blunt, frank, perhaps conversational, stumbling upon something bright, then something more serious. This music eventually finds its way back to the urgency of the opening, and from there deals again with the issue of giving way—or falling in—to an unrestrained version of itself on the one hand, as music both urgent and near, and to the gentle, distant contrast of the refrain on the other.

Falling In was composed during the spring and summer of 1998 for Music at the Anthology, the MacDowell Colony, and Orchestra 2001 of Philadelphia.

—Anna Weesner


Dream Sequence (Images II)

Dream Sequence (Images II) is for violin, cello, piano (with three water-tuned crystal goblets and a Thai wooden buffalo bell), percussion (Japanese temple bells, crotales, sleigh bells, maraca. suspend­ed cymbals) and off-stage "glass harmonica" (four crystal goblets tuned to the ascending chord C-sharp. E, A. D, which is played "quasi subliminal" throughout the entire work). It was commissioned and first performed and recorded by the Aeolian Chamber Players. While it does bear the precise nota­tion, the unmistakably acute sense of instrumental timbre and color, and the general sense of quiet­ness that are so characteristic of George Crumb's music, Dream Sequence seems to me a very spe­cial, unique piece in the composer's oeuvre. The entire piece is contained within two pages of score and approximately five-sixths of it are noted in circular fashion. The pianist and percussionist (except for the beginning and ending) play more or less freely within their own circles, while the violin-cello duo in turn maintains its own independent circle.

—James Freeman

Concertino for English Horn & String Orchestra

At age 33, totally out of the blue, my career as a self-taught composer began. For my first three compositions, I stuck to what I knew best from my life as a professional clarinetist and wrote works for wind instruments. The Concertino, my Opus 4, was commissioned and premiered in 1983 by the Minnesota Orchestra and was an exciting opportunity to write for orchestra and to expand expressive boundaries. The two outer movements, the Preludio and the Rondo, are both rather brief and are representative of my irrepressible desire to write tuneful, rhythmic and humorous music. The central Chorale movement, on the other hand, represents the darker, more complicated aspects of my character, particularly those related to a rather serious Lutheran upbringing. And although the work as a whole is crafted to be a satisfying vehicle for the solo English horn, it is in the many passages for the strings that the emotional heart of the music resides.

—Arne Running

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was written in 1988 in Philadelphia. This dramatic and virtuosic composition explores the feelings and mentality of the Russian people and their turbulent history. The Concerto is built on four contrasting themes. The principal one, awesome and poignant, is related to the Znamenny Chant of the Russian Orthodox Church. Another theme is a mysterious, languishing waltz, which at times appears ominous with its 12-tone transformations. The third theme is a tender, coquettish polka that often echoes with pain and sobbing. The fourth theme is slow, soft and dreamy. Closer to the end of the concerto, a dramatic cadenza for the solo violin exhibits staggering violin tech­nical difficulties. A brilliant, energetic coda with church chimes crowns the Concerto.

-David Finko

Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments

Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments is cast in three movements (fast-slow-fast) in the configuration of a traditional concerto.

The cello writing is alternatively declarative and rhapsodic, and the harmony is chromatic and intense. The counterpoint features the cello combined variously with individual solo instruments, selected groups of players, and the whole ensemble. As in the Dvorak cello concerto, the writing is generally high—in the area of greatest expression on the instrument.

The cadenzas in the first and last movements were written first, and the substance of the rest of the work is derived from them. The cadenzas also formed the basis of a short spin-off piece, “Dragonflies sing near,” which was written in two versions, for guitar solo and piano left hand alone.

  • Jay Reise

Ulrich Boeckheler

Ulrich Boeckheler, a prizewinner in the 1982 Gaspar Cassado International Cello Competition. Has been prin­cipal cellist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders in Belgium and Helmuth Rifling's Bach ColIegium Stuttgart. His principal teachers were Andre Navarra and Leonard Rose. For many years his col­laboration with pianist Susan Starr has been successful both in concert and recording studio. He is a mem­ber of the Starr-Kim-Boekheler Trio and was invited to be part of the distinguished jury for the XXIII International Cello Competition "Dr. Luis Sigall" in Chile.

George Crumb

George Crumb's many honors include the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral work Echoes of Time and the River, a Grammy Award for the premiere recording of his epic cantata Star-Child, and an honorary degree from Swarthmore College. He is celebrated with festivals in his honor worldwide, while his activities as com­poser continue unabated. Born in 19Z9 in Charleston, West Virginia, Crumb became the 36th recipient of the Edward McDowell Medal in 1995. Composer John Harbison, who headed the Medal Selection Committee, noted that "George Crumb's music, unique in its precision, atmosphere and rapt concentration, has been played and admired all over the world. At a time when contemporary music threatened to retreat into elitism, it attracted new. enthusiastic listeners, without sacrificing its individuality and integrity (He is] an American original" Crumb's musical studies took place at Mason College, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan. From 1959 to 1965 he taught in the piano department of the University of Colorado; and from 1966 to his retirement in June 1997 he was professor of composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

David Finko

David Finko was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg): Russia, in 1936. A United States citizen since 1986, Finko has mitten eleven operas, twelve concert!, three lone poems three symphonies and a number of chamber compositions. His music has been performed in many countries and received many awards. Since his emigration to the U.S. in 1979, Finko has taught at Yale University, the Universities of Pennsylvania and Texas, and Swarthrmore College. He holds degrees in submarine design from the Leningrad Institute of Naval Architecture • id m composition (ram the Leningrad Conservatory. Finko has worked as a submarine designer, orchestra violist, editor of a music publishing house and a freelance composer.

Dorothy Freeman

Dorothy Freeman is well known in the Philadelphia area for her performances with Orchestra 2001 and the Penn Contemporary Players, and as solo English hornist with Peter Nero's Philly Pops and the Opera Company of Philadelphia Orchestra. She was formerly a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Cologne Opera Orchestra; solo oboist with the lima (Peru) and Springfield (MA) symphony orchestras; and solo English hornist with Pablo Casals' Puerto Rico Festival Orchestra. She received B.M, and M.M. degrees from Boston University where she studied with Ralph Gomberg, later accepting a Fu I bright Fellowship to continue her studies in Germany.

James Freeman

lames Freeman is artistic director and conductor of Orchestra 2001, which he founded in 1988. He is also Daniel Under hill Professor of Music at Swarthmore College. He was trained at Harvard University (6.A.. MA. Ph.D.), Tanglewood and Vienna's Akademie fur Musik and counts among his principal teachers pianists Artur Balsam and Paul Badura-Skoda and his father, double bassist Henry Freeman. He has recorded for Nonesuch, Columbia, Turnabout. Acoustic Research, CRI and MMC.

Robert Magglo

Robert Maggio's compositions have been widely performed in the United States and abroad by orchestras and ensembles such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, New York Festival of Song, American Dance Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Detroit Chamber Winds. Meridian Arts Ensemble. Network for New Music and Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Published by Theodore Presser Company. Maggio's music can also be heard on Seven Mad Gods (CRI CD 720), Riddles (CRI CD 870] and Spontaneous Lines (Albany/Trio 311). Born in 1964, Maggio studied at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Media, Pennsylvania, and is an asso­ciate professor of music theory and composition in the School of Music at West Chester University.

Barbara Ann Martin

Barbara Ann Martin has performed throughout the United States. Europe, Asia and the South Pacific with orchestras and ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, St. Lute's, New World Symphony and the American Composers Orchestra. Her opera appearances include the Metropolitan, Chicago (as guest artist with the Lyric Opera Center], Central City, New Jersey State and Minnesota Operas. Her other CRI recordings include Chinary Ung's Mohori CD710). Marc-Antonio Consoli's Vua Sicalam (CD 735), and, with Orchestra 2001. Crumb's Night of the Four Moons (CD 760), Ancient Voices of Children and Three Early Songs (CD 803).

James Prlmosch

James Primosch's instrumental, vocal and electronic works have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Collage, the Twentieth Century Consort and Speculum Musicae. His Icons was played at the ISCM/League of Composers World Music Days in Hong Kong, and Dawn Upshaw included a song by Primosch in her Carnegie Hall recital debut. Among the honors Primosch has received are a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two prizes from the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters, a Regional Artists Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the Stoeger Prize of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a 2002 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a fellowship to the Tangle-wood Music Center He has received commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Speculum Musicae, Town Hall, the New York Youth Symphony, the Network for New Music and the New fort Camerata. Recordings of his music have appeared on the CRI, Centaur, Bard. Albany and New World labels.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1956, Primosch studied at Cleveland State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. His principal teachers were Mario Davidovsky, George Crumb and Richard Wermck. Since 1988 Primosch has served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Presser Electronic Music Studio.

Jay Reise

Jay Reise is the composer of the choreographic tone-poem The Selfish Giant, which was commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonic Orchestra in London in 1997. His opera Rasputin, described in The Washington Times as "a spellbinding, challenging and profoundly beautiful creation," was commissioned and premiered by the New York City Opera in 1988. Reise has also written three symphonies (performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others) and his music has been performed widely both in the United States and abroad, including an all-Reise concert at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. His chamber concerto Chesapeake Rhythms is recorded on CRI by Orchestra 2001 and his articles have appeared in Opeia News, Nineteenth-Century Music and Perspectives of New Music. Reise is the Robert Weiss Professor of Music Composition at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His music is published by Merion Music/Theodore Presser Co.

George Rochberg

George Rochberg (b. 1918) has produced a large body of orchestral and chamber music, as well as works which emerged first from his involvement with atonal and serial music during the earlier part of his career, and then from a gradual reassessment of, and turning to, tonal music in the middle-late '60s, 70s, and on into the present This whole-healed embracing of traditionally-oriented tonal possibilities, which came with his 1971 Third String Quartet, not only warmed up the musical climate but also opened the way to greater freedom in the way composers could express themselves. Since then, Rochberg has produced many new works His commissions and performances include those by the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with solo performances by such distin­guished artists as Isaac Stem, Joseph Robinson, Anthony Giglotti and Eliot Fisk.

Rochberg began his studies in composition at the Mannes School of Music, and after service in World War II, continued at the Curtis Institute of Music. He taught at Curtis from 1948 to 1954 then in 1960 joined the facul­ty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a chairman of the Department of Music until 1968. He retired from teaching in 1983 as Emeritus Annenberg Professor of the Humanities.

Paul Rochberg

"Upon everything connected with art. as well as with artists, Paul turned clear eyes... Paul was raised among artists; he had no romantic idea either of them or of their ambitions. He was never das led by repu­tation what is more to the point, he was never dazzled by skill. Remarkably his judgments were good— that is, they opened one's eyes to possibilities one bad never considered. He had the gift of primary vision— an ironic, often humorous view unclouded by others' opinions; and he went for the truth like a terrier for its quarry."

—Christopher Davis, Chelsea Seventeen, Spring 1965 issue

Arne Running

Arne Running maintains an active freelance career in the Philadelphia area, performing as principal clarinetist with the Penn Contemporary Players, the Riverside Symphonia, Network for New Music and the Ocean City Pops. As conductor, Running has been music director of the Swarthmore College Orchestra, the Old Tort Road Symphony Orchestra and the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor of district, regional and all-state orches­tras. Born and raised in Moorhead, Minnesota, Running received his B M. degree with highest honors in clar­inet from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and his M.M. degree from Temple University in


Mikhael Tsinman

Born in Moscow in 1959, Mikhael Tsinman is concertmaster of the famed Bolshoi Theater Orchestra and a member of the Rachmaninov Trio In 1990, Tsinman won the Premio Rodolfo Lipzer Prize in Italy and in 1991 was awarded first prize in Salzburg's Mozart Competition. During Orchestra 2OOl's Russian tour in 1997, he joined the American musicians for concerts in St. Petersburg and Moscow, playing David Finko's Fromm Septet, and establishing a warm bond of artistic friendship with the composer as well as with Orchestra's 2OOl's players. In January of 2000, he came to Philadelphia especially for the performances and recording of Finko's Violin Concerto. Tsinman is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, where he earned his D.M.A. He Hues in the old pal of Moscow with his wife Elena and their four children.

Anna Weesner

Anna Weesner s music has been performed by Dawn Upshaw. Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish. Judith Kellock. Scott Kluksdatil, the Cassatt Quartet, the Cypress Quartet, the Syracuse Society for Hew Music and Orchestra 2D01. She has been com­missioned by Metamorphosen. Network for New Music. Music at the Anthology, Sequitur. the Cypress Quartet and Dawn Upshaw's "Voices of the Spirit" series at the 92nd St. Y in New Vork. Weesner's orchestral music has been selected for reading sessions by Ihe Indianapolis Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra for their Whitaker Reading Sessions and the Women's Philharmonic.

Weesner has been in residence at the Mac Do we 11 Colony, the Wellesley Composers Conference, Blue Mountain Center, the Summit Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Seal Bay Festival and at Fondation Royaumont in France. She was recently awarded a Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Other honors include a Young Composer Award from ASCAP the Brian Israel Prize, publica­tion in the 1995 G. Schirmer Anthology of New American Art Songs, the Lakond Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and honorable mention from the International League of Women Composers. Born in 1965. Weesner studied flute and composition at Yale and received a D.M.A. from Cornell University, where her teachers included Steven Stucky, Roberta Sierra and Karel Husa She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Orchestra 2001

Philadelphia's Contemporary Chamber Orchestra "The Virtuoso Ensemble for the 21sl Century" James Freeman, Artistic Director

Founded in 1988. Orchestra 2001 has become one of America's most important champions of new music and one of Philadelphia's most active and ambitious cultural organizations. The vitality, imagination and dedication to performances of the highest quality that have characterized the orchestra's concerts and recordings have won for it devoted and constantly growing audiences at Philadelphia's new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and at Swarthmore College, where it is ensemble-in-residence- Invitations to perform at international festivals in Russia, Denmark. England, Spain and Slovenia have resulted in triumphant suc­cesses for the orchestra and lavish praise from European critics. Its ongoing series of recordings for CRI. "Music of Our Time." has brought new American music (especially by composers from the Philadelphia area) to thousands of listeners in the U.S. and abroad.

Orchestra 2OOl's programs reflect the ensemble's primary mission, to bring the wonders of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries to wide audiences in world-class performances Its guiding principle is that the best new music of our own time is a natural extension of the magnificent continuum of western art music and that it is no less powerful, compelling, beautiful and accessible than the great masterpieces of previous centuries.

Many of the world's most renowned artists have appeared as soloists with the orchestra. They have included pianists Vladimir Feltsman, Gary Graffman, Gilbert Kalish, Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, Marion McPartland and Susan Stair; violinists Pamela Frank and Am and Ida Kavafian; sopranos Julianne Baud, Maureen O'Flynn. Lucy Shelter and Benita Valente; guitarists Sharoan Isbin and David Starobin; guest conductors Gunther Schuller, Bright Sheng and Peter Schickele.

Some of the orchestra's most recent highlights have included world premiere performances of new works by George Crumb, David Crumb. Tina Davidson. David Finko, Gerald Levinson, Thea Musgrave, Jay Reise and Gunther Schuller; new operas (fully staged) by Jonathan Holland and Thomas Whitman (the latter directed by the legendary Sarah Caldwell); the American premieres of important recent works by Sophia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Olivier Messiaen, Thea Musgrave and Alfred Schnittke; and the area premieres of Milton Babbitt's "unplayable" Transfigured Note, Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, Earl Kirn's Exercises en Route, Christopher Rouss's Grammy-winning Concert de Gaudi, Arnold Schoenberg's transcription of Mahler's Lied von der Erde, the origi­nal language version of Shostakovich's Fourteenth Symphony and Melinda Wagner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion.


Recorded, edited and mastered by George Blood, George Blood Audio LP. All recordings were made in Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Rim Song. Produced by Robert Maggie and George Blood. Recorded June 21,1999. / Septet; Produced by James Primosch. James Freeman and George Blood. Recorded July 15. 1999. / Fantasies fat Voice and Piano-. Produced by James Freeman and George Blood. Recorded May 29,2002. / Falling In- Produced by Anna Weesner and George Blood. Recorded May 25. 2001. / Dream Sequence-. Recorded February 10.1997. Produced by James Freeman, George Crumb and David Moulton. Recorded and edited by Curt Wittig. / Concertino for English Horn and String Orchestra: Produced by Arne Running, James Freeman and George Blood. Recorded January 11, 2001. / Concerto (or Violin & Orchestra. Produced by David Finko, James Freeman and George Blood. Recorded January 24, 2000. / Concerto for Cello and 13 Instruments: Produced by Jay Reise and George Blood. Recorded June 8,2000.

Orchestra 2001 is very grateful to Swarthmore College and its Department of Music and Dance for the use of its spate, pianos and percussion instruments.

Publishing information:

George Crumb: C.F Peters, Inc. / David Finko: Dako Publishers / Robert Maggio and George

ochberg: Theodore Presser, Inc. / James Primosch: Margun Music / Jay Reise: BMI/Merion Music (Theodore Presser)