Hausmusik

20th Century Chamber Music for the Home

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Hausmusik, 20th Century Chamber Music forthe Home, takes some examples of hausmusik (also known as gebrauchsmusik) byPaul Hindemith and Ernst Kreneck and builds from there a collection offantastic, sometimes surreal compositions.

 

Hausmusik features classical guitarist William Anderson with hiscolleagues from the Cygnus Ensemblein stunning performances of 20th c. solo and chamber music, much of which hasnever been recorded before. The disc opens with a splashy, irresistablerendition of Hindemith's Rondo for Three Guitars (1925). The recording takesits title from a composition by Kreneck entitled Hausmusik. In this set of 7short pieces recorders, violin, guitar and piano are used in differentcombinations. Despite the domestic intent of the music, these are strikingpieces. Hans Erich Apostel's Sechs Musiken receives spectacular treatment inAnderson's Hands. These European works are mirrored by American which relate tothe home (and architecture) in obvious or surprising ways --Robert Martin'sexquisite little piece called Henry's Lullaby was written for Anderson's sonHenry. Jon Dawe's Under the Tafelmusik takes the Hausmusik theme into surrealworld that time trips from the 17th century Baroque period to Y2Kpost-serialism. It is a crazy piece with great rhythmic drive. None of theAmerican pieces strike one as too European, but they share certain musicalvalues with the European works on the disc--they share a desire to createmulidimensional musical space without getting out of reach of the lay listener.I would say that even about Milton Babbitt's Danci.

 

William Anderson

 Guitarist and composer William Anderson is the son ofarchitect Dorothy Kentner Anderson. He began playing chamber music at theTanglewood Festival in 1981, at age 19, and continued to play there for manymore seasons. One of his coaches at Tanglewood was Louis Krasner, the violinistwho premiered the Schoenberg and Berg concertos. Anderson worked with Krasneron Krenek’s Suite, and on the first American performance of Sandor Jemnitz’Trio for guitar, violin and viola. Anderson studied guitar with Allen Krantzand Christoph Harlan, and ultimately with David Starobin, who introduced him tomusical circles in New York City. Anderson founded the Cygnus Ensemble in 1985.Since 1993 he has been invited to perform in 10 European countries, Mexico, theU.S., and Japan. Also since 1993, he has performed regularly at WashingtonD.C.’s Kennedy Center with the Theater Chamber Players. Hausmusik is his fourthsolo CD. He appears on numerous other recordings on Bridge, Koch, CRi,Soundspells, and Cou-nal (Japan). Anderson teaches guitar at Sarah LawrenceCollege and, during the summer, at the Willoughby Guitar Institute in Westmore,Vermont. Anderson’s compositions have been heard live and via radio broadcastsin Holland, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Germany, and Mexico, as well as the U.S.He has written music for the Composers Guild of New Jersey, the Weekend ofChamber Music, and the Theater Chamber Players.

 

Oren Fader

 Oren Fader is active as a performer of classical guitarrepertoire, both old and new. Reviewing his solo New York recital, Guitar Reviewmagazine stated: “His scholarship, technique, and intelligent musicianship areplainly evident and the beauty of his tone is consistently compelling.” He hasperformed in London, Tokyo, Munich, Amsterdam, Montreal, Russia, Mexico, andthroughout the United States. At age 23, he was a featured soloist with TheOrpheus Chamber Orchestra, performing the Villa-Lobos guitar concerto. In 2000he performed Schoenberg’s Serenade, under James Levine. Mr. Fader can be heardon numerous recordings, in repertoire ranging from the 19th Century (Sor) tolate 20th (Carter). Mr. Fader received his undergraduate degree from SUNYPurchase and his Master of Music (Performance) degree from Florida StateUniversity. His major teachers include David Starobin and Bruce Holzman. Since1994 Mr. Fader has directed the Guitar Chamber Music program at the ManhattanSchool of Music.

Raj Bhimani

 Raj Bhimani is an active performer, teacher, and adjudicator.He has presented solo and chamber music recitals in the United States, France,Italy, Portugal, Canada, and India, and can be heard regularly in and aroundNew York. Performances of his have been broadcast on Indian National Radio andTelevision, Portuguese National Radio, and also on WQXR and WHUS Radio in theUnited States. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College inCalifornia, and a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory inMaryland. He had the good fortune to study in Paris for three years with notedFrench pianist Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer, and in New York has had a longassociation with Seymour Bernstein. He also values the assistance he hasreceived from Claude Frank and Andre Laplante. Mr. Bhimani teaches in the MusicSchool of the 92nd Street Y in New York and also maintains large private teachingstudios in Bronxville, New York, and in Manhattan. He has also taught at NewYork University and in the Music Preparatory Department of Concordia College,and gives lectures and workshops on piano pedagogy, the performance of Frenchpiano music, and other topics.

 

Jacqueline Leclair

 Oboist Jacqueline Leclair currently teaches and performs inthe New York City area. She is a member of the Cygnus Ensemble, the VanguardChamber Players, several new music ensembles, and appears with groups such asthe Jupiter Symphony, The Columbia Sinfonietta and Sospeso. She has recentlypresented classes at schools such as UCLA and the Eastman School of Music, andcan be heard on labels such as Nonesuch, CRI, Koch, Neuma, and CBS Masterworks.Universal Edition Vienna is publishing “Luciano Berio Sequenza VIISupplementary Edition by Jacqueline Leclair”. Ms. Leclair received degrees fromthe Eastman School of Music and SUNY at Stony Brook, where she studied withRichard Killmer and Ronald Roseman.

Tom Zajac

 Tom Zajac specializes in late-medieval and Renaissance music,but has been praised by critics both here and abroad for his exceptionalversatility, performing fluently on a wide variety of early instruments. He isa member of Piffaro, a Renaissance wind band, and the musical-theatrical groupEx Umbris. He is a frequent guest artist with the Folger Consort, and hasappeared with many other leading ensembles including the King’s Noyse, NewberryConsort, Anonymous 4, Waverly Consort, Concert Royal, and New York’s Ensemblefor Early Music. He has appeared on over 25 recordings, ranging from Medievaldance to baroque opera, to contemporary folk-rock, on Dorian, DeutscheGramophon, Angel EMI, Virgin Veritas, Harmonia Mundi, Lyrichord, Windham Hill,and others. Recent projects include playing hurdy-gurdy for an American BalletTheater Company performance of a work choreographed by Twyla Tharp, appearingas musician and ‘talking head’ in the 12-part music education series Exploringthe World of Music for PBS educational television, and performing for the scoreof the Ric Burn’s documentary on the history of New York City that aired theFall of 1999 on PBS. With his group Ex Umbris, he performed at the 5thMillennium Council event in the East Room of the White House, last January25th. Tom teaches at recorder and early music workshops throughout the US, ison the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park, and directs thecommunity-based ensemble, Trinitas in Philadelphia, where he resides.

Guitarist Marc Wolf studied classical guitarwith David Starobin at Purchase College, and Lute with Pat O’Brien. He hasperformed in festivals, solo, chamber and orchestral settings and on live radiobroadcasts in the U.S., Canada, Europe & Japan. Recording credits include A&MRecords, Ultimate, Siltbreeze & others. Mr. Wolf has premiered many newworks with guitar including works by Richard-Cameron Wolfe, Robert Martin, MarkRimple, Dary-John Mizelle & others. As a composer, Mr. Wolf has composedmusic for feature films, television, dance and commercials. In addition he haswritten many articles on music theory & history. Mr. Wolf performsregularly with flutist Linda Wetherill as the Wolf-Wetherill Duo

Jacqui Carrasco

 Jacqui Carrasco has performed as a soloist and chamber musicianthroughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia, including soloappearances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and at the Library ofCongress. She has taken an active role in the world of avant-garde andcontemporary music, having premiered works by composers such as Steve Reich,Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown, and has appeared regularly withNew York-based new music groups such as the S.E.M. Ensemble, the CygnusEnsemble, Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Ensemble, Musicians Accord, andNewband. Ms. Carrasco has recorded contemporary chamber music for the Nonesuch,Mode, and Braxton House record labels and has recently completed a CD of newAmerican music with the Cygnus Ensemble for the CRI label. Aside from her role incontemporary and classical music, Ms. Carrasco has performed quite extensivelyas a violinist of Argentine tango music. She has joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma inconcert and on PBS to celebrate the music of Astor Piazzolla and in 1999 shejoined internationally renowned tango musicians to make her PhiladelphiaOrchestra solo debut. Having previously taught at Princeton University, she isnow an Assistant Professor of Music at Wake Forest University.Jacqui Carrasco

 Jacqui Carrasco has performed as a soloist and chambermusician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia,including solo appearances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and at theLibrary of Congress. She has taken an active role in the world of avant-gardeand contemporary music, having premiered works by composers such as SteveReich, Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown, and has appearedregularly with New York-based new music groups such as the S.E.M. Ensemble, theCygnus Ensemble, Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Ensemble, Musicians Accord, andNewband. Ms. Carrasco has recorded contemporary chamber music for the Nonesuch,Mode, and Braxton House record labels and has recently completed a CD of newAmerican music with the Cygnus Ensemble for the CRI label. Aside from her rolein contemporary and classical music, Ms. Carrasco has performed quiteextensively as a violinist of Argentine tango music. She has joined cellistYo-Yo Ma in concert and on PBS to celebrate the music of Astor Piazzolla and in1999 she joined internationally renowned tango musicians to make herPhiladelphia Orchestra solo debut. Having previously taught at PrincetonUniversity, she is now an Assistant Professor of Music at Wake ForestUniversity.

Joan Forsyth

 Pianist Joan Forsyth is a multi-faceted musician who hasreceived critical acclaim as a soloist and chamber music artist—“Pianista la brava!”...Il Corriere della Sera, Arezzo, Italy; “a big lush soundand technique to burn” ...the Vancouver Sun. Ms. Forsyth has been heardthroughout Europe and the Americas in a wide range of repertoire, embracing thestandard piano literature as well as the most recent works. Her prize-winningperformances in the 1990 Concerts Atlantique and La Gesse competitions set inmotion tours of France and Switzerland, and since that time she has maintaineda lively concert schedule. She has collaborated with ensembles including theCassatt Quartet, Cygnus, the New Westminster Symphony, the WestchesterPhilharmonic, Modernworks!, and the Theater Chamber Players of Washington, D.C.n 1998 she performed in Russia at the Europe-Asia International Festival ofModern Music. Her performances have been broadcast over WNYC, RAI (Italy),Danish National Radio and Polish National Radio. She can be heard on recordingson the Soundspells and CRi labels.

 

In the late 18th century music devotedspecifically for middle class amateur musicians to play at home began to becomposed, published and consumed. This music would come to be known ashausmusik. Prior to the advent of hausmusik, there was Tafelmusik,(table-music), music to be played during meals; but tafelmusik was a morearistocratic phenomenon from the era that preceded the great rise of the middleclass. The guitar is a hausmusik instrument. While guitarists Segovia, Breamand Starobin worked hard to make the guitar into a “serious” concertinstrument, the guitar’s origins in folk music, salon music and hausmusik arean indelible aspect of the Western musical tradition. The terms “hausmusik”along with “gebrauchsmusik” (utility music) began to be used widely in the 20thcentury when music began to grow in directions that became increasingly moreinscrutable to the middle class which once supported it. There is a greattension between the desire to explore musical possibilities for their ownrewards, and, on the other hand, to acknowledge music’s role in the everydaylives of the non-musicians. The music assemled here reflects or comments uponthese opposing tendencies, in the spirit of hausmusik.

 

 In Paul Hindemith’s Rondo for three guitars (1925), theearliest work on this recording, one can discern a hint of Hindemith’sexpressionism, but tempered by jugendstil Chinoiserie—the pentatoniclines. Here the guitars are evocative of some exotic oriental plucked-stringinstrument. Like early F. L. Wright houses and central European jugendstilarchitecture, there is still ornamentation, but it is in the process oftransformation, with non-western influences very much in force.

 

 Milton Babbitt’s “Danci” takes its title from the Esperantofor “dance”. One is struck immediately by the tango rhythms in this littlepiece. There is a coy flirtation with Ab in one register, echoed shortlythereafter in another register. A climax occurs where the various musicalstrands come together in a series of octaves. And there is a very tenderrelationship—the very opening E—G# is answered later with the sameinterval in the highest register of the instrument, reached through anascending klangfarbenmelodie, only to dissolve into its own inversion. AnotherBabbitt hallmark is heard here in the protrusion and recession of notes andtango rhythms—in and out; up and down; forward and backward. Babbittliberated aspects of Schoenberg’s music from their Romantic and expressionisticorigins, creating an American music that is jazzy in its wit and spontaneityand Deco in its streamlined economy. The Esperanto title puts forth Danci as awork of welthausmusik, a cosmopolitan contribution to the global village.

 

 In Robert Martin’s Henry’s Lullaby (1998) there are twolevels of restful resolution that occur. Both of the two repeated phrases (thepiece is an AABB form) end calmly and gently with a very familiar, tonalformula—a tritone resolving to a third or a sixth. The entire piece isbased on this resolution, but until the end of each phrase it is alwaysinterrupted, as if nagging thoughts repeatedly jolt us into consciousness as weare about to drift into sleep, until we finally do drift into sleep. However,the resolutions in combination with the jarring notes soon emerge as a totalitythat is beautiful unto itself. This juxtaposition of sounds that traditionallywould have had to be kept apart in time suggests a timelessness that is notidentical, but is akin to the timeless quality of sleep. It is a reassuring timelessnessthat comes with the acceptance of the totality. This is in line with the wordsof one of Martin’s favorite painters, Cézanne: “Just as the artist hassurpassed time by integrating himself into its rhythm, so is he from now on themaster of space. And only now can he say in summary: ‘I feel colored by all thenuances of the infinite. Henceforth I am one with my painting.’” Henry’sLullaby was written for my son Henry just days after he was born. It is alsoembedded in the third movement of Martin’s trio for flute, violin and guitar,Winter Shadows. Robert Martin is the composer of the epic collection of guitarsolos, duos and trios entitled Diary of a Seducer, which traverses the rangebetween melody and pointillism in remarkable ways. Henry’s Lullaby is the firstof Martin’s next envisioned set of guitar solos, The Decameron. “Sleep thatknits up the ravel’d sleave of care”—Macbeth

 

 Olga Gorelli was born in Bologna, and was raised in Dante’scity, Ravenna. Her first compositions were published in Italy when she was tenyears old. She came with her family to the U.S. in 1939 and studied withScalera and Menotti at Curtiss, with Hindemith at Yale, and with Milhaud. Paoloand Francesca are from Dante. Their fate is to spend the hereafter as winds.Silent Moon is a musical scansion of lines by Leopardi. Mechanical Man is amemory of a Californian street performer who danced like a mechanical man untilhis music stopped. These duos were composed in the early 90’s. I first playedthem at a house concert given by Ms. Gorelli, who has made her home into avital center for musical cultural in central New Jersey.

 

 Hans Erich Apostel was born in Carlsruhe. He was a student ofboth Schoenberg and Berg. Grove’s Dictionary says, “In Vienna, where his workwas disregarded for some years owing to its antecedents, performances havebecome more frequent again of late.” Webern was a spiritual leader for manycomposers after the war because his music suggested a way to get beyond theromanticism and expressionism of Schoenberg and Berg. We hear a hint of thisWebernian rarefaction in Krenek’s fabulous little guitar suite of 1957, thelast piece on this disc. Apostel does not try to make a great break with expressionism,although to me the ending of Der Rhythmus sounds like a Stan Kenton ending, andin general there is a jazzy brevity and lightheartedness in these works,suggesting a new expressionism adapted to the Pax Americana. Numbers 2, 3, and4 are among the most ambitious contrapuntal guitar textures ever conceived by anon-guitarist. In the last piece the music evaporates in a fantastic kind ofdistillation process. Sechs Musiken was composed in the early ‘60’s.

 

 Ernst Krenek studied with Schrecker in Vienna and Berlin.andbecame a major figure in Vienna. He married one of Mahler’s daughters. When heemigrated to the U.S. in 1938, avoiding the nazis, he was the most famousliving European composer, largely due to the huge success of his opera, JohnnySpielt Auf. That work used jazz idioms, and it was the first opera to have ablack character and also the first in which the telephone was used. Krenek’smusic began in a post-Wagnerian vein, delved into atonality, and flirted withjazz. In the 20’s Krenek gave a lecture arguing against Schoenberg’s 12-tonepractice, but later Krenek developed a similar practice which he employedextensively. Hausmusik was composed in Princeton, NJ in 1959, and is subtitledSeven Pieces for the Seven Days of the Week for Piano, Violin, Guitar andRecorders. The piece takes on a double role. It addresses the problem of modernmusic moving farther and farther from the ticket purchasing audience, and italso touches upon the issue of the demise of the German/Austrian musicaltradition following the second world war. The renowned expatriate composer isreplanting the seeds of his culture through these seven musical lessons, and atthe same time he is educating his future public. Shortly after Richard Strausshad composed his great elegies for German Culture (Metamorphosen and the FourLast Songs), Krenek responded to the new situation with these lessons forothers to learn to love and understand the culture which he hoped might survivein some form in the new post-war world.

 

 In the 19th century variations for solo guitar of Sor,Giuliani and others, it is often the case that the 7th in the dominant 7 chordmigrates through registers as the variations proceed. It is usually in the slowvariation that the 7th winds up in the bass, causing the earth to tremble, justa bit. We see this register migration in my Guitar Variations from 1994, whereI employ a simple process suggested by both the melody and the harmonization ofthe pop song that is treated, Jerome Kern’s Long Ago and Far Away.

 

 A device used by Stravinsky, rotational arrays are built fromstrands of notes, cycled, transposed, and repeatedly stacked. Such dimensionaldesigns, imbued with symmetries and recursions, lead to a complex flowering ofthe original pitch material. In Jonathan Dawe’s Under the Tafelmusik (1998)uses melodies taken from Telemann’s Tafelmusik. Six preexisting passages act asthe primary panels from which the balance of the music is made. As an outcomeof these operations, many expressions of the Baroque borrowings are recast intoa new drama. Threads of connections are made to Telemann’s tunes, some direct,some quite distant. Jonathan Dawe studied with Milton Babbitt and RichardHoffman. His music is widely performed, and he has won awards from the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Foundation, the Presser Foundation,ASCAP, and BMI. He is now on the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School.

 

 Ernst Krenek’s Suite for solo guitar is a universe away fromhis Hausmusik. Yet they were written within a few years of one another. In acertain respect, Hausmusik is the more complex work, despite its outwardsimplicity and its intention to be very accessible. At the risk ofoversimplifying, Hausmusik behaves more like serial music, while the Suite is12-tone. Serial music articulates background motion in the very same way thatmelodies delineate chord progressions in tonal music. In serial music, themelodies land prominently on certain notes, often landing in the same placemore than once, creating focal pitches. The focal pitches may then move muchmore slowly than the surface, creating a depth to the texture in a manner thatis identical and indeed descended from the way old fashioned tonal musicbehaves. The Suite’s Webernian feel has much to do with the fact that the rowis one that Webern used very often. —William Anderson

 

Anderson’s playing is of a highorder of dexterity, virtuosity, and brilliance, and is indicativeof the tremendous advances made in gutiar technique over the past four decades.Prior to that, very few guitarists would have had the skill to even begin toplay such demanding works....Guitar aficionados are strongly advised not tomiss it." - David Denton, Fanfare

 

"first rate" -BernardHolland, The New York Times

 

"the perfect pioneer" -LiliAfshar, American Record Guide

 

"The mirror-paneled recital roomprovided an apt visual metaphor for how such seemingly modest dimensions cantrick the ear into an impression of vaster scale. Guitarist William Andersonbrought both technical and expressive virtuosity to his accounts...aquasi-orchestral pallete of coloristic effects...deftly realizedby Anderson as he shaped each entry with epigrammatic concentration." - ThomasMay, The Washington Post

 

"William Anderson is one of ourfinest guitar players." -Leo Kraft, The Music Connoisseur

 

"Performed with warmthtenderness and strength by Mr. Anderson. ...Mr. Anderson soared over the differentchallenges presented by a difficult, contrapuntally complex solo guitar work byMilton Babbitt. He danced over the virtuosic combinations of rhythms andpitches, at the same time communicating a strong, long-phrased emotionalgetsure." -Graham Mckinley, Princeton Packet

 

“played with virtuosity and a closeattention to style.” -Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post

 

“a seriously dedicated and adventurousperformer.” -Emma Martinez, Classical Guitar (London)

 

"The mindful voice of Ives, of Stravinsky and of Mr.Wuorinen's music would not seem to be implied much by such a song as"Night and Day", but Mr. Anderson's extraordinary arrangements of this and othernumbers by Jerome Kern and Richard Rogers set them squarely and astonishinglyin the same tradition..." -Paul Griffiths, The New York Times