Paris X

Innova 315

 

Called "Paris-X" because Dane Rudhyar was an"X-patriate" and Erik Satie an "X-centric" this quirky album presents overlooked worksby two of the French avant-garde's most radical and colorful figures. ... Satie is very muchin our culture now, but Rudhyar ... is still a rarefied figure.

 

 These rugged,mystical Rudhyar works from the 20s are reminiscent of Ruggles in theirdissonant, elemental power; the early ones, especially "CortegeFunebre", are more perfumed and more French, but still massive and noble.Richard Cameron-Wolfe,a Rudhyar specialist who befriended the composer in the 70s, plays with a bigsonority in fortissimos and silken tone in the soft passages. The recording isstrong and resonant, asit must be.

 

Just as radical in its quiet way is Satie's 1892"Christian ballet” USPUD for narrator and piano, a spare, minimalist quasi-religious work... admired only by Debussy among major composers. ... Kathryn Philip's raptly understatednarration and Cameron-Wolfe's sensitive playing conjure an austere raptureunique to thiscomposer."-AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Vol. 67, No. 5: September/October 2004 -Reviewed byJack Sullivan

 

"... The two [composers, Rudhyar and Satie] shared contempt for musicalacademia,choosing instead to pursue their own muses, against the grain. ... The CD ispurposely sparse and challenging. This is not background music; you need tothink and concentrate on what the notes convey. There is anger and serious reflection;there are pauses and dark corners, but at the end of it you feel a certainpeace, and a cleansing seems to have occurred.  Rudhyarbelieved that music was to help humanity evolve, that music has the potential tohave a transmuting effect. ...This is not your father's classical music!" -THE TAOS NEWS: TEMPOMagazine, November 4, 2004 -Reviewed by Brandt Legg in his column, "TheHum"

 

"...offer the Academie d’Underrated, a series oftotally gratuitous articles bringing to your attention composers who aren’t visibleanywhere on the cultural radar - and SHOULD be.

 

As it turns out, I’ve been planning for months to beginthis feature with Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985), and just when I get the chance, anews peg actually appeared in the form of a new compact disc, along with theadvent of an excellent Rudhyar web page. Had Rudhyar continued composingthrough the Depression, he would doubtless be one of the more famous names inAmerican music; ..."

 

...hisbest work seemsto be hispiano music,especially the series’ of brief works called Pentagrams, Tetragrams, Paeans,and Granites. The music is as tough and granitic as that of Charles Ives orCarl Ruggles, but instead of being melodic or contrapuntal it is an interplayof sonorities that reappear and evolve, impressionistic and atmospheric and yetstern and commanding at the same time.

 

The new compact disc (Furious Artisans FACD 6087 ..) is arecording of piano music by pianist/composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe, who does justice to Rudhyar’sabrupt and impassioned side. (The disc also includes a rare Erik Satie ballet, Uspud,and one of Cameron-Wolfe’s signal achievements is that he has performed Satie’sVexations, a 24-hour repetitive work, by himself rather than as part of theusual team of pianists.) Cameron-Wolfe includes two previously unrecorded earlyRudhyar works from his Parisian period, Lamento (1913) and Cortege Funebre(1914), dark, original, and not as Debussyan as you’d expect from the fact thatthe young avant-gardist had written his first book on Debussy in 1913. Theother Rudhyar works are Tetragrams Nos. 3 and 8, from the late 1920s, which asfar as I know are also worldpremiere recordings.This isabsolutely top-shelf Rudhyar, taut, mystical, thoughtfully explosive." -ArtsJournal.com:PostClassic: ACADEMIE D’UNDERRATED: DANE RUDHYAR December 29, 2003 -Reviewed byKyle Gann

 

... The first Rudhyar to appear since the CRI reissue ofWilliam Masselos' piano disc back in the 80s! Anyone interested in the circle ofcomposers influenced by Scriabin, astrology and various types of mysticism willwant to have thesetwo Tetragrams (1927 and 1928), relatively short, four movement works in whichthe sonorities of the piano are as important as the darkly luminous, highlychromatic music itself. The Lamento and funeral march are earlier pieces,dating from the composer's years in his native Paris (1913 and 1914), but hismature personality already is evident. One of the most unjustly forgotten composers inthe history of the American avant-garde! Satie's "Christian ballet" dates from 1892, atthe end of his brief involvement as "official composer" to the Ordrede la Rose-Croix. Lasting 34 minutes in this performance, it is, as one wouldexpect, slow, serene and, then, slower and more serene (a quote in the notes -apparently from a Boston Globe review of a 1996 performance by these artists -can't be passed up: "neo-medieval, proto-minimalist dadaism"!)." -RECORDS INTERNATIONAL

 

"First, the pianism, understanding, and sensitivity thatRichard Cameron-Wolfe brings to this repertoire is extraordinary. Second, the repertoire itself isequally remarkable.Dane Rudhyar is still amazingly obscure to many music lovers, yet if you areattracted to the piano music of Scriabin, this recording must become part of your library. And the quirky Satie is worthmany, many listenings -- each will provide subtle new surprises. Cameron-Wolfefinds the essence of both." -Leroy Lupine, Amazon.com: Customer Reviews(2004-05)

 

"ParisX, Musica Obscura is Dane Rudhyar and Eric Satie's revolutionary musicperformed by contemporary pianist and composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe, oncementored by Rudhyar. ParisX is musical territory on the cutting edge of Western sensibilities andhearing. BothRudhyar and Satie created musical compositions which turned away from theexclusively European musical tradition. Rudhyar especially explored soundswhich he felt the modern ear no longer heard, or heard primarily as dissonance.He felt the development of music was inextricably linked to humanconsciousness, and that dissonant harmonies needed to be integrated into humanhearing. Cameron-Wolfe,sensitive to Rudhyar's and Satie's musical notions and imagination, allows uspassage into compelling auditory landscapes of sound and soul. He bringsdelicacy and depth to this exciting, ear-opening music." -D. McKinstry-Edwards, Amazon.com:Customer Reviews (2004-05)