"Child's Play was written in 1988. The title refers to the endlessly imaginative and constantly changing play of four different, like-minded children. The inspiration for the quartet was my then two-year-old daughter Rachel, whose boundless capacity for play I found (and still find) rather terrifying. There are three movements:
1. Games [fast: four energetic players leap out of the starting blocks, play running games, chasing games, teasing games, tag and echo games and eventually return to their starting blocks.
2. Intermezzo: Sogni d'Oro (Dreams of Gold) Slow]: a quiet, dreamlike respite from the frenetic mood of the first movement.
3. Dances [very fast]: a perpetual motion movement in three parts, with a slower middle section sandwiched in a boisterous and frenzied 'dance of life."' —Robert Greenberg
i1. "Threnody After Josquin’s Mille regretz is a respectful parody based on Mille regnetz, a hauntingly beautiful chanson (song) by Josquin des Prez (1440-1521) that provides the framework for this short lament. Around, within, above and below this frame, I have created a personal musical statement using interjection, layering, contrast and repetition. Composed in 1987, the work was slightly revised in 1993, when I also wrote a version for string orchestra." —David Dzubay
The text of the chanson is as follows:
Mille regnetz de vous habandonner
A thousand regrets at deserting you
Et d'eslonger vostre fache amoureuse,
and leaving behind your lovingface,
Jay si grand dueil et paine uloureuse,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
Quon me verra brief mes jours definer
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away.
5. "About the Night is a one-movement work composed afler hearing a recording of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, a town in the foothills of the Rif Mountains of Morocco. These musicians create music for an annual festival that combines the celebration of a Moslem lunar feast day with the re-enactment of the Roman Rites of Pan. The purpose of the festival was to ensure fertility and maintain
the age-old balance between men and
women. This music marries Lyricism
to drive and passion, producing a
deep and lasting effect on listeners
from many different musical back-
"String Quartet No. 2, dedicated to the
Alexander String Quartet, was commissioned by Composers, Inc. with a grant
from the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation.
It has two contrasting but related movements:
G. Apparilwns features extreme contrasts of dynamics, pitch and texture.
Its volatile moods swing from uneasy
calm to great apprehension. The pace
is predominantly slow and hesitant,
although torrents of rapid notes interrupt frequently On three occasions,
broad melodies try to assert themselves in the icily different accompaniment, I only to be swept aside by tempestuous outbursts.
7. Jazz Play is a fond reminiscence of my days as a pianist during the Bebop Era. It contains many references. I both melodic and rhythmic—to such standards as Night in Tunisia, Cheryl, Salt Peanuts, Ko Ko, Billie's Bounce I and Moose the Mouche This is not, however, a jazz composition, but rather a work which uses jazz material.
In a way consistent with the harmonic and melodic language of the first movement: the first six measures of Apparitions are transposed and transformed to become the introductory gesture and first "theme" in Jazz Play. What previously was austere and foreboding now becomes light and euphoric. After a steady increase in tension and tempo, a raucous, polyrhythmic climax based on the opening motifs brings the quartet to an emphatic conclusion." —Wayne Peterson
Robert Greenberg holds degrees from Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley; his principal teachers were Edward Cone, Claudio Spies, Andrew Imbne and Olly Wilson. Among his awards are three Nicola De Lorenzo Prizes two Meet The Composer grants and commissions from the Ark Foundation and the Santa Cruz New Music Guild. He teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is Artistic
CO-Director of Composers, Inc.
Born m Minneapolis, David Dzubay earned a B.S., an M.M. in composition and trumpet, and a D.M. in composition at Indiana University where his principal teachers were Donald Erb, Frederick Fox, Eugene O'Bnen, Lukas Foss and Oliver E`nussen. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Music Center, Indiana University Tanglewood and the Cincinnati Symphony Commissions include works for the Oregon Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Voices of Change and the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players. He is Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Music, teaching composition and directing the New Music Ensemble.
Marjorie Hess studied composition at the Hartt School of Music, Princeton University and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. She lived in New York, London and Amsterdam before settling in Minneapolis, where she saw the greatest possibilities for producing opera and other music theater works. Three of her operas have since been premiered in Minneapolis by Corn Palace Productions, a composers collective of which she is a founding member and co-director Apart from her work in opera, she has been commissioned by ensembles as diverse as The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Dale Warland Singers and Dadadah, as well as pianist Alan Feinberg and soprano Mimmi Fulmer.
Wayne Peterson, born in Minnesota, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and was a Fulbnght Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 1953-54. He received the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1992, crowning a distinguished career which began in 1958 with his Free Variations for orchestra, premiered and recorded by the Minneapolis Symphony under Antal Dorati. Recent works include two for the San Francisco Symphony, The Face of the Night and The Heart of the Dark (which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize). Peterson has been honored with fellowships and commissions from the Guggenheim, Koussevitzky, Gerbode, Fromm and Djerassi Foundations as well as an award of distinction from the American Academy in Rome. Recent recordings include his First String Quartet, performed by the Group for Contemporary Music (Koch International), Sextet, played by the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players (CRI), An Interrupted Serenade (Grenadilla) and Capriccio for flute and piano (1750 Arch). Peterson has been Professor of Music at San Francisco State University since 1960 and Guest Professor of Composition at Stanford since 1992.
This recording is based on a Minnesota Composers Forum concert and is funded in part by the McKnight Foundation.