PRICE: $15.00
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ARTIST
TITLE
Swales and Angels
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
NW 80610CD NW 80610CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
4/19/2004

"Beth Anderson (b. 1950) writes chamber music of great beauty, generally simple tonality, and luminous textures. She's adopted a deceptively unmilitant motto -- 'To make something beautiful is revolutionary' -- and describes herself oxymoronically on her web page as a 'neo-romantic, avant-garde composer', words that wouldn't fit together for any other composer. Her chamber music betrays its twentieth-century roots in its pervasive use of collage. Her preferred form, and one she invented herself, is the swale: a term for a meadow or marsh in which a lot of plants grow together, and by extension a musical piece in which diverse musical ideas and even styles grow side by side. In Anderson's swales, then -- five of which are on this recording -- different themes, styles, moods pop up and succeed each other with cheery disregard for linear development-though, as in any field, the same plants recur amongst each other, giving the disparate collections a family unity. Thus she has evolved a music that seems texturally and tonally conventional measure-by-measure, but whose succession of styles -- modal, nineteenth-century, Bartókian, bluegrass -- chart out radical postmodern territory indeed. Yet, unlike the collage techniques of Cage, Stockhausen, and John Zorn, Anderson is never abrupt or mechanical, but smooths her swale elements together in an intuitively convincing stream of consciousness."