Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Playlist: 8 February 2006

Ben Johnston: String Quartets 2, 3, 4, & 9; Kepler Quartet (New World 80637)
Kyle Gann: Nude Rolling Down an Escalator—Studies for Disklavier (New World 80633)
John Luther Adams: Strange and Sacred Noise (Mode 153)
David Lang: The Passing Measures (Canteloupe 21003)
Peter Garland: The Days Run Away (Tzadik 7053)

Mostly postminimalists seem to be in heavy rotation in my disc player these days. The Ben Johnston (he's actually NOT a postminimalist) disc is a new release, first of a projected series of all of his string quartets. Keep 'em coming, this one is amazing. Kyle Gann is one of a very few composers who can make me laugh out loud with sheer delight—and four separate pieces on this release do just that every time I play them. John Luther Adams makes a profound and mystical racket in 'Strange and Sacred Noise,' a big cycle of works for four percussionists. David Lang's 'The Passing Measures' is the least showy piece for bass clarinet and orchestra imaginable; the term "Feldmanesque" is appropriate here. And the title track of the Peter Garland disc has haunted me for months with its unabashed serenity.

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