FLUTE FORCE · EYEWITNESS

innova 556

 

1-8. Land of the Farther Suns (1995) for narrator, flute quartet and piano by David Alpher

 

1. Three little birds . . .(1:26)
2. Places among the stars . . .(2:58)
3. I saw a man pursuing the horizon . . .(2:14)
4. Think as I think . . . / Instrumental (1:16)
5. Once I saw mountains angry . . (0:27)
6. In heaven . . .(2:26)
7. The sage lectured brilliantly . . .(0:28)
8. Crimson clash/ Land of the farther suns/ Little birds of the night (7:46)
(Published by
Brixton Publications, 4311 Braemar Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33813)

Garrison Keillor, narrator, David Alpher, piano

Sheryl Henze,piccolo and flute,Wendy Stern, piccolo and flute, Gretchen Pusch, flute and alto flute, Rie Schmidt, flute and bass flute

 

9. TRAVELOGUE (1995) for flute quartet by Elizabeth Brown (8:41)

(Published by Quetzal Music, New York, NY)

Wendy Stern, flute, Sheryl Henze, flute and piccolo, Gretchen Pusch, flute and alto flute, Rie Schmidt, flute and bass flute

 

10-11. EYEWITNESS (1990) for flute quartet by Robert Dick

10. Movement 1 (7:58)

11. Movement 2 (5:54)

(Published by Multiple Breath Music, 3526 Washington Ave. St. Louis, MO 63101)

Gretchen Pusch, flute and piccolo, Sheryl Henze, flute and piccolo, Rie Schmidt, flute, alto flute and bass flute, Wendy Stern, flute and bass flute

12-14. NYMPHS (1994) for flute quartet by Gary Schocker

12. Gathering (1 :20)

13. In the Wood (3 :39)

14. In the Air (2 :06)

(Published by Theodore Presser Co., Bryn Mawr, PA)

Gretchen Pusch, Rie Schmidt, Wendy Stern, Sheryl Henze, flutes

 

15-17. TANTAMOUNTS (1996) for flute quartet and string quartet by Eric Stokes

15. Movement 1 (2 :23)

16. Movement 2 (5 :05)

17. Movement 3 (3 :05)

(Published by Horspfal Music, 1611 West 32 Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408)

Sheryl Henze, flute, Wendy Stern, flute, Gretchen Pusch, flute and alto flute, Rie Schmidt, flute and bass flute and the Meridian String Quartet : Sebu Sirinian, Lisa Tipton, violins, Liuh-Wen Ting, viola, Wolfram  Koessel, cello

 

Total time : 59 :41


 

 

OUTside BACK cover :

 

FLUTE FORCE · EYEWITNESS

 

1-8. Land of the Farther Suns (1995) for narrator, flute quartet and piano by David Alpher (withGarrison Keillor, narrator, David Alpher, piano)

 

9. TRAVELOGUE (1995) for flute quartet by Elizabeth Brown

 

10-11. EYEWITNESS (1990) for flute quartet by Robert Dick

 

12-14. NYMPHS (1994) for flute quartet by Gary Schocker

 

15-17. TANTAMOUNTS (1996) for flute quartet and string quartet by Eric Stokes

(with the Meridian String Quartet)

 

Total time : 59 :41

 

Flute Force : Sheryl Henze, Gretchen Pusch, Rie Schmidt, Wendy Stern

 

Recorded and edited by Adam Abeshouse

 

Recorded at: SUNY College at Purchase in December 1998, June 1999, May and June 2000

 

Cover Art: Don Smalley, Quartet (green alabaster)

Photography by: Herbert Lotz

 


 

Inside liner notes :

 

FLUTE FORCE · EYEWITNESS

 

“Eyewitness” is Flute Force’s third solo compact disc and is a sequel to its debut recording of American flute quartets on the CRI label. The performances on this recording are the result of a close working association Flute Force developed with each composer.

 

Garrison Keillor and composer/pianist David Alpher join Flute Force in Land of the Farther Suns. The work is in eight movements and reflects David Alpher’s jazz and classical background. Mr. Keillor’s reading of poems by Steven Crane is woven into the texture of the musical score.

 

Land of the Farther Suns (1995) for narrator, flute quartet and piano by David Alpher with Garrison Keillor, narrator and David Alpher, piano

Poems by Stephen Crane


I have long been an admirer of Stephen Crane's bold poems, and wanted to work with them musically. In 1992, I arrived at a format: essentially a song cycle, but with the text spoken instead of sung. From Crane's 135 poems, I selected ten which greatly affected me, and when placed in a particular
sequence, suggested an overall narrative structure. This piece exists in two versions. In addition to composing a narrator/piano score, I decided to arrange this version for narrator, four flutes and piano, thinking that the whole complement of flutes, from bass to piccolo, would help bring out the
full emotive range of the texts, while at the same time expressing (as they are a family of instruments) a fundamental unity. Stephen Crane (1871-1900) is best known as the author of The Red Badge of Courage.
--David Alpher

David Alpher's (b.1947) compositions are unique, eclectic mixtures of jazz, American folksongs, theater music and the classical tradition. His multimedia work Las Meninas: Variations, inspired by Velazquez and Picasso paintings, has been performed on 25 occasions, in such diverse locales as Finland, Spain, Brazil, Zion National Park and Harvard University. Pathways, a 1999 commission from The Verdehr Trio (clarinet/violin/piano trio) received an enthusiastic review in the American Record Guide. He composed The Field's Edge, a set of five songs to poems by James Wright, for a commission from the James Wright Festival of 1997. Mr. Alpher’s current commissions are Songs on the Passage of Time, for the Rockport Chamber Music Festival; and Songs of Witness, a chamber piece incorporating ten haiku written by detainees in Japanese--American internment camps during World War II for Crossroads Arts Council. The Walrus and the Carpenter (1989), a jazz-influenced setting of the Lewis Carroll poem, and Land of the Farther Suns (1995) were finalists in the National Flute Association's Newly Published Music Competition. The CD American Reflections: David Alpher Chamber Music (Ongaku) contains five other works. David Alpher is a founder of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and was for ten years its co-Artistic Director, Composer in Residence, and frequent piano performer. On the Angel CD American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster, Mr. Alpher collaborated as pianist and co-arranger with Thomas Hampson, Jay Ungar, and Molly Mason. Mr. Alpher is a graduate with High Distinction of the Indiana University School of Music, where he was a student of Menahem Pressler, pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio. He has been a resident fellow at The MacDowell Colony and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

 

GARRISON KEILLOR was born in Anoka, Minnesota, in 1942 and began his radio career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1966. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. (The show ended in 1987, resumed in 1989 in New York as The American Radio Company, returned to Minnesota, and in 1993 resumed the name A Prairie Home Companion.) Keillor hosts a daily five-minute radio program, The Writer’s Almanac, is a frequent contributor to Time, and writes a biweekly column of advice to the lovelorn for Salon, the online magazine. He is the author of eleven books, including Lake Wobegon Days (1985), The Book of Guys (1993), The Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996), Wobegon Days (1997) and Me, By Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente (1999). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recently was presented with a National Humanities Medal.

 

TRAVELOGUE (1995) for flute quartet by Elizabeth Brown

 

Travelogue is a subtle, humorous and intricate gem reminiscent of the composer’s childhood car trips across Alabama in the 1950’s. Written for Flute Force in 1995, the piece uses microtones, multiphonics and other extended techniques which are an integral part of the Elizabeth Brown’s  musical language.

 

When writing Travelogue, I was thinking about all the different aspects of travel- the exhilaration of movement, joy in the scenery, anticipation of arrival, impatience over delays and occasional homesickness. My earliest and fondest memories involve family trips, sitting with my brothers in the back seat of our car, rolling through the Alabama countryside. The flute language includes microtonal trills and progressions, wheezy overblown tremolos, and a Doppler effect of falling pitch (to imitate cars passing in the other direction). The piece was written in New York City for my friends and colleagues in Flute Force, and was finished on Christmas Day, 1995.

                                            --Elizabeth Brown

 

Composer/flutist Elizabeth Brown (b. 1953) is a native of Alabama and a Juilliard graduate, began composing in her late twenties. Since then, her work has been performed at a variety of notable venues; the Library of Congress, the Kitchen, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Houston Center for Photography, the Ijsbreaker in Amsterdam, Bang on a Can, Lincoln Center, and Kunstlerhsaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra premiered Lost Waltz at Carnegie Hall in 1997; Newband premiered Delirium (featuring the original microtonal instruments of Harry Partch) at the Knitting Factory in NYC in 1998. Brown has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and at the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy and was Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park in 1999. She has written for a number of unusual instruments, including viola d’amore, glass harmonica, and traditional Japanese instruments (she is an accomplished shakuhachi player). Brown’s music can be heard on CRI’s Emergency Music: Band on a Can Live Vol. II, Dance of the Seven Veils (Newband) on Music and Arts and The Aids Quilt Songbook on Harmonia Mundi. Brown has performed as flutist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the American Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae. She also frequently performs her own music. She is on the flute faculty of the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and has recorded for CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophone, CRI, Musical Heritage, Opus One and Avant.

 

EYEWITNESS (1990) for flute quartet by Robert Dick.

 

Robert Dick’s lexicon of extended techniques for the flute is employed throughout Eyewitness,and has become a standard part of flutists’ vocabulary.  The work was commissioned jointly by three flute quartets: Flute Force, the Powell Quartet and the CalArts Contemporary Chamber Players, and made possible with funds from the Meet the Composer/Readers Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Acheson Wallace-Readers Digest Fund.

 

In Eyewitness, the four flutists are equals.  They are called upon to master a vocabulary of sonorities - air rushes, timbre and glissandi inspired by the North Indian bansuri flute, whispertones, multiphonics, multiple tremoli, tongue stops, voice/flute combinations - and to use these sonorities with full emotional and dramatic command.  Expressively, Eyewitness is reflective of complex emotional states.  My tastes run to maximal intensity, especially in music, and Eyewitness is composed in this manner.  Each flutist plays as soloist, duo partner, and as contributor to mass sonorities.  Whatever the context, every entrance has overt dramatic functions.  Eyewitness is in two movements.  The first is scored for four concert flutes, and the second movement adds piccolos, alto and bass flutes.

--Robert Dick

 

Robert Dick (b.1950) is internationally known as a composer, performer and improviser and as a flutist who has revolutionized the soundworld of his instrument. Playing the full range of flutes -- contra-bass in C, bassflutes in F and C, alto, flute and piccolos in Ab and C -- Dick has performed his music throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. He has earned wide recognition as a composer, and has a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Composer's Fellowships and many grants and commissions to his credit. His recent works include Transdimensional Lending Library, a conducted improvisation for flute choir; Paint Your Mammouth, for five flutes, Air Alight, for seven flutes, Parade to the Sky, for three flutists and percussion (commissioned by the Scottish Flute Trio); Life Concert, for flutist and pianist (commissioned by the City of Lucerne, Switzerland), and The Sea of Stories for flute soloist with flute orchestra, Fire's Bird, for ring-key piccolo and Fish Are Jumping, for flute alone.

Robert Dick's multifaceted musical life includes composition, improvisation, masterclass teaching, publication, and work on re-designing the flute itself. He is currently collaborating with Bickford Brannen of Brannen Brothers Flutemakers on the development of his invention, the "Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint". This telescoping flute mouthpiece is inspired directly by the electric guitar's "Whammy bar" and gives the flute a vastly increased range of glissandi and coloristic possibilities. Mr. Dick tours the world performing his music. He regularly performs in the United States and throughout Europe, and has played and taught in Asia, Australia and South America.

 

NYMPHS (1994) for flute quartet by Gary Schocker

1.Gathering

2. In the Wood

3. In the Air

 

In Nymphs, Gary Schocker integrates popular and classical styles with his characteristic ease. This three-movement work is the only composition on this recording using four C flutes.

 

Four will o’ the wisps gather, fly, and flicker. All their music happens secretly, drawn in the air like lightning bug-streaks, which can’t be touched.

                                                            --Gary Schocker

 

GARY SCHOCKER (b. 1959) is a flutist/composer/pianist of outstanding versatility. As a flutist, Mr. Schocker has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, in I Solisti Italiani’s 1993 tour performing his Airborne, and in chamber music festivals and recital halls around the world. Schocker has composed sonatas for piano, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, horn, and two pianos, as well as numerous works for flute, many songs, theatrical works, and musicals for children. James Galway premiered Mr. Schocker’s three-movement concerto Green Places at Ireland’s Adair Festival and has also performed this work with the New Jersey Symphony. His musical Far From The Madding Crowd, written with Barbara Campbell, received its world premiere in New Zealand in Fall 2000. Far From the Madding Crowd is also a disc of selections from three of his musicals featuring an all-star Broadway cast (Original Cast Records). Gary Schocker can be heard in his debut recording Regrets and Resolutions for Jonathan Digital Recordings, featuring three of his own compositions; on his CD of baroque music by Bach, Telemann, and Handel; and in two recordings with Orquestra Nova on the Chesky label. He has also recorded Mozart’s Flute Quartet with the Chester String Quartet on the Chesky label. Another recent recording is the CD Airborne, which features several of his own compositions for flute (Jonathan Digital).

 

TANTAMOUNTS (1996) for flute quartet and string quartet by Eric Stokes

In three movements

With the Meridian String Quartet

 

TANTAMOUNTS

Owing to Eric Stokes’ untimely death in 1999, no composer’s notes could be found for Tantamounts. The Oxford English Dictionary defines « tantamount » as an adjective meaning equivalent as in value, force or effect. Since the ranges of C flutes, alto and bass flutes are roughly equivalent to their string counterparts, the two quartets are tantamount. Tantamounts was written for Flute Force in 1996 and received its premiere at the National Flute Association convention in New York City that same year.

 

ERIC STOKES (1930-1999) was president of the Minnesota (later ‘American’) Composers Forum’s Board of Directors from 1991 to 1993. His opera Apollonia's Circus, written with longtime friend and collaborator Al Greenberg, was produced in 1994 at the University. One of Eric's last commissions was a large-scale work for chorus, band, and narrator titled Out of the Cradle.  He composed more than eighty works including orchestral, chamber and vocal compositions that were commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the London Sinfonietta, the San Francisco Symphony, Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales, the Cincinnati Symphony, and Chamber Music America. His music has been performed throughout the US and Europe and is recorded on the Louisville, CRI and innova labels.

 

Eric received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1952 from Lawrence University in Wisconsin,
his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory in 1956 and then began doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. He was appointed to the faculty there, and remained until his retirement in 1988. Eric's 29 years at the University of Minnesota were the core of his creative life. In the '60's he collaborated with Tom Nee to present new music in the pioneering Here Concerts series at the Walker Art Center. His first opera, Horspfal,
commissioned by the Center Opera Company (now the Minnesota Opera) was produced in 1969 at the Guthrie Theatre. In 1970, he founded the University's electronic music laboratory, and in 1971, he organized the First Minnesota Moving and Storage Warehouse Band, a contemporary music ensemble.

 

The MERIDIAN STRING QUARTET established in 1990 as the quartet-in-residence at Queens College (NY), and is now truly an international quartet. The current members, together since 1995, are from Romania, Taiwan, Germany and the US.  The diversity of the members’ cultural backgrounds is reflected in the broad range of repertoire that the group explores - from jazz to theatre performances. The Meridian’s festival performances include Norfolk, Blue Hill, Caramoor and the Windham Chamber Music Festival They have presented mini-residencies at the University of Wisconsin, at Stroudsburg University (PA) and Molloy College (NY). The Meridians have held longer-term residencies at Bard College and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, as well as summer residencies at the Meeting House Chamber Music Festival on Cape Cod and the Hot Springs Festival in Arkansas. The Meridians have collaborated with composers Joan Tower and George Tsontakis and commissioned works for quartet by Elliot Sharp, Bruce Adolphe and Margaret DeWys, as well as a quintet for saxophone and strings by Manny Albam. They have premiered works by Bright Sheng, Nancy Faber and Charles Strouse, composer of Annie. Their 1997 CD, Lumen, a compilation of short works, will be used for the soundtrack on the feature film, “‘Til Death Do Us Part.” The quartet has also been invited to Rome to perform for the millennium celebrations at the Vatican in 2001. Recent performances include their own series at Weill Recital Hall, WQXR and WNYC radio, the Phillips Gallery in Wash, DC, Columbia University, Hofstra University, Manhattan School of Music and Swarthmore College.

 

FLUTE FORCE

Founded in 1981, Flute Force has distinguished itself as America's foremost flute quartet.  As winner of the Artists International Competition, Flute Force presented its Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1985.  Musical America has called Flute Force "an extremely persuasive advocate for the flute quartet medium: four top-quality players in a perfectly balanced and expressive ensemble."

 

Flute Force has performed extensively in the United States and Canada.  Highlights of past seasons have included performances at Yale University, Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, the Universities of Tennessee, Florida, Washington, Iowa, Missouri and Pennsylvania, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Merkin Concert Hall and for the New York Flute Club and the National Flute Association's annual conventions in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. Flute Force has collaborated in concerts with renowned flutists Julius Baker, Paula Robison and Keith Underwood, as well as Nexus and the Cassatt Quartet.  The group has also performed on American Public Radio's St. Paul Sunday Morning, WQXR, WNYC and on New York and New Jersey public television.

 

The group recorded six flute quartets by American composers for CRI (1990).  Their second release, Pastorale, on the VAI Audio label (1996) includes Rie Schmidt's arrangement of Daphnis and Chloé by Ravel and features guest flutist, Julius Baker. Flute Force was featured on a Windham Hill release entitled Mozart Variations. Excerpts from their recordings have been used in the HBO series, Sex and the City.

 

Flute Force has received recording, commissioning and residency grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund and the American Composers Forum.

 

Recorded and edited by Adam Abeshouse

 

Recorded at SUNY College at Purchase on December 20, 1998, June 11, 1999, May 25, 2000 and June 20, 2000

 

Flute Force, Inc.

711 Amsterdam Avenue, #10G

New York, NY 10025

www.fluteforce.org

(212) 662-8795 phone

(212) 864-9166 fax

Fluteforceinc@[email protected]

 

Special thanks to: Peter Ader, Richard Clark, Alan Murchie, Joseph Schwartz, Paco Underhill, Benjamin Verdery, David Wechsler, Michael Yamin and Frederic W. Ziv.

 

Cover Art: Don Smalley, Quartet (green alabaster)

Art photograph by Herbert Lotz

Group photograph by Warren Ditmar