1. Sequenza I for flute (1958) 6:28 Luciano Berio
2. Debussy Deb-You-Do Pt. 1 (1999) 7:34 David Sherr
3. Debussy Deb-You-Do Pt. 2 (1999) 6:54 Sherr
4. Sax Lines and Audio Tape (1999) 6:22 Sherr
5. Sequenza VII for oboe (1969) 8:28 Berio
6. Sequenza VII /Palimpsest (1999) 8:34 Sherr
7. Sequenza IXa for clarinet (1980) 14:48 Berio
8. In The Pocketa Pocketa (1999) 7:38 Sherr
Shelly Berg piano
Cynthia Fogg viola
Scott Higgins percussion
Joe LaBarbera drums
Harvey Newmark bass
David Sherr leader, alto saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet
Brian Swartz trumpet, flugelhorn
Amy Wilkins harp
1. Sequenza I (1958) Luciano Berio
Dedicated to Severino Gazzeloni
Sequenza I has as its starting point a sequence of harmonic fields that generate, in the most strongly characterized ways, other musical functions. Within the work an essentially harmonic discourse, in constant evolution, is developed melodically. It was my intention to suggest, through the maximum speed of transformation, concentration and alternation of differing sound characters and differing figures, a polyphonic type of listening. The codes governing the Baroque era allowed one to write a fugue in two parts for a solo flute. Nowadays, when writing for monodic instruments, the relationship between explicit and implicit, real and virtual polyphony has to be invented anew, and stands at the crux of musical creativity.
2. and 3. Debussy Deb-You-Do (1999) David Sherr
Debussy Deb-You-Do is a set of variations, written and improvised, for two quartets. There are two themes. One is made up of a series of melodic fragments related to Sequenza I and Sequenza IXa. The other is from a solo by Dizzy Gillespie. The written variations are played by a quartet of vibraphone, harp, viola and flute. The improvised variations are for flute, piano, bass and drums.
4. Sax Lines and Audio Tape (1999) Sherr
Sax Lines And Audio Tape and In The Pocketa Pocketa, are the first and third of a suite of three pieces called The Secret Life Of Walter MIDI. The middle movement, Darn That Drum, was not finished in time for the session. All three are based on tone rows from sources where they are not commonly found. Sax Lines and Audio Tape is derived from the first thirteen notes of Charlie Parker’s solo on the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II composition The Song Is You (Verve, MG V-8005) in which he uses eleven different notes, omitting only B-flat and using A-natural and G-natural twice. It is made up of a 16 bar chorus in which no two consecutive measures except seven and eight (an e minor seventh chord) are in the same key. Thus there are no cadences and solos need not conform to four or eight bar phrases.
5. Sequenza VII (1969) Berio
Dedicated to Heinz Holliger
Sequenza VII is inhabited by a sort of permanent conflict — for me a very expressive and sometimes dramatic one — between the extreme velocity of the instrumental articulations and the slowness of the musical processes that sustain the work’s progress such as: a certain fixedness of registers, the prolonged absence of certain notes, and the increasingly insistent presence of certain intervals (the perfect fifth, for example, which is not without memories of the English horn in Tristan). With Sequenza VII (as with the Sequenzas for flute, trombone, clarinet, trumpet, bassoon) I continue my search for a virtual polyphony. In this Sequenza the solo part is placed in perspective, as it were ‘analyzed’ by, the constant presence of a ‘tonic,’ a B natural, that may be played, pianissimo, by any other instrument off stage.
6. Palimpsest (1999) Sherr
Palimpsest is an accompaniment to Sequenza VII as Berio has himself incorporated the music of other composers (Mahler and Beethoven among others in Sinfonia and Schubert in Rendering) into his own. Parts were written for viola, harp and vibes at the beginning and piano at the end. The flute and bass parts are improvised.
7. Sequenza IXa for clarinet (1980) Berio Dedicated to Iwan Roth and John Harle; Written for Claude Delangle
Sequenza IX...is in essence a long melody and like almost all melodies, implies redundancy, symmetries, transformations, returns. Sequenza IXa develops a constant exchange and a constant transformation between two different pitch fields, one of seven notes that are almost always fixed in the same register, and the other of five notes that are instead characterized by great mobility.
8. In The Pocketa Pocketa (1999) Sherr
In The Pocketa Pocketa is based, however loosely, on the first fifteen notes of the development section of the last movement of Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G minor, K 550, in which he uses 11 different notes, omitting only G. The form is a twelve bar blues in b-flat minor.
(Notes on the Sequenzas were compiled by Marsha Berman, who, with co-author Stephen Davison, is engaged in preparing a bio-bibliography of Luciano Berio for Greenwood Press.)
Sequenza IXa recorded 12/15/97
Sequenza 1 recorded 1/12/98
Recorded at Goldsmith, Santa Monica, CA
Sequenza VII recorded 4/9/98 at LAVC Studio, Valley Glen, CA
Debussy Deb-You-Do recorded 2/20/99
Palimpsest recorded 5/25/99
Sax Lines and Audio Tape and In The Pocketa Pocketa rec. 7/15/99
Recorded at Studio 47, Los Angeles, CA
Engineer and editor: Vince Tividad
Cover painting: Deanna Demayo
Cover photographs: Deanna Demayo, Alexina Louie and Alex Pauk
Executive Producer, Graphic Design: Philip Blackburn
Thanks: The American Composers Forum, Rich Averach, Fritz Bergmann, Marsha Berman, Philip Blackburn, Ed Bland, Paul Chihara, Bruce Creditor, Deanna Demayo, Tom Flaherty, Tom Halm, Marilyn Harris, Joan Jeanrenaud, Don Kerian, Rhonda Kess, Heidi Lesemann, Alexina Louie, Chauncey Maddren, Jeff Mee, Aaron Meyer, Michael Patterson, Alex Pauk, Jade Pauk, Jasmine Pauk, David Raksin, Leonard Rosenman, Vince Tividad, Richard Todd, and especially the extraordinary musicians of the ensemble.