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Reflected Light
ELIZABETH AUSTIN


Cover Art: Jane Meredith Roche

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Catalog Number: CPS-8625
Audio Format: Stereo, DDD
Playing Time: 72:27
Release Date: 1995

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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  To Begin for brass quinetet (6:47)
1.
Allegretto
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  2. Ballgame
  3. Ländler (Country Dance)
 
  4. Klavier Double for piano and tape (11:07)
  Jerome Reed, piano
 
  5-7. Circling (9:00)
  Mary Lou Reynolds, cello
  Jeananne Albee, piano
 
  Lighthouse I (9:01)
  8. Allegro
  9. Andante flessibile
  10. Toccata: vivace
  Ursula Trede-Boettcher, harpsichord
 
  Gathering Threads (6:00)
  11. Theme
  12. Giocoso
  13. Cantabile
  Markus Lücke, clarinet
 
  Zodiac Suite (11:32)
  14. Aries
  15. Sagittarius
  16. Libra
  17. Aquarius
  18. Taurus
  Jerome Reed, piano
 
  19-21. An Die Nachgeborenen (19:00)
  Chamber Choir of the Staatliche Hochschule
für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim
  Gerald Kegelmann, conductor
  Sibylle Dotzauer, piano

 

Related Links
Elizabeth Scheidel-Austin @ American Music Center
Elizabeth Scheidel-Austin @ Abilene Christian University

 

Reviews

20th Century Music - December 1997 - by Phillip George

"Elizabeth Austin's "Reflected Light" is a refraction of several strands of late 20th-century thought in the academy - varied, a bit lacking in continuity, appealing to an educated musical public.

"To Begin" (1990) for brass quintet is a motivically driven contrapuntal exercise in three varied movements. Reflecting the composer's cosmopolitan experiences, each of the sections is titled in a different language: Allegretto, Ballgame, and Landler - of these the second may be noted as particularly striking in the baubles and burps erupting from the Constitution Brass.

Many of the older works have themselves references to even older ones. "Klavier Double" (1983), for piano and tape, recycles Schumann; "Circling," for violoncello and piano, has ascending Berg-like fourths in its opening; and "Lighthouse I," for solo harpsichord, alludes and bears witness to the baroque. "Gathering Threads" for solo clarinet, and "Zodiac Suite" for piano, wind down various intellectual paths in their fragmentary and acerbic ways.

"An Die Nachgeborenen (To Those Born Later)" sets a bitter text by Bertolt Brecht. One would have wished for a little less grit in the singing from the Chamber Choir of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Heidelberg-Mannheim."

 

 

American Record Guide - September/October 1996 - by Kilpatrick

"Evaluating new music is always a challenge. especially when a performance is particularly strong-or weak. A fine artist can make ordinary musical materials sound terrific, but we might not recognize a good piece if it is performed poorly. While these works by Elizabeth Austin seem to vary in quality. that assessment may stem from readings of varying quality.

Mrs Austin (b 1938) tells us that she likes to use a quote from older music to serve as a starting-point for her works (those quotes are well masked). Her best works are rather abstract wanderings that include occasional tonal moments. These include Zodiac Suite (1980) and Klavier Double (1983), which benefit from pianist Jerome Reed's Intensity. In the latter work, his passages alternate with a prerecorded synthesizer (Synklavier), then meld near the end. Cellist Mary Lou Rylands and pianist Jeananne Albee supply lyricism and warmth in Circling (1982), a four-movement piece that has the players Interact more and more as time passes. Ursula Trede-Boettcher gives a superb account of Lighthouse I (1989). proving the effectiveness of the harpsichord as a new-music medium. Markus Lücke is the excellent clarinetist in Gathering Threads (1990). Most ambitious but not so effective Is To Those Born Later (1992), a 19-minute choral setting of poetry by Bertolt Brecht (text and translation included). While Sibylle Dotzauer does an excellent job with the unusually important piano accompaniment, the work presents many obvious challenges to the young Chamber Choir of Heidelberg-Mannheim's Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, where Mrs Austin has developed an exchange program with the Hartt School in Connecticut.

To Begin (1990) is given an uneven reading by Constitution Brass."