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Dream Music
CHAMBER WORKS OF ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ


Cover Art: Dorothy Schwartz

Available at your favorite digital etailers
including iTunes, Rhapsody and eMusic

Catalog Number: CPS-8633
Audio Format: Stereo, DDD
Playing Time: 62:04
Release Date: 1997

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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  1-2. Memorial in Two Parts (21:25)
    Adele Auriol, violin
    Bernard Fauchet, piano
     
  3-5. A Garden for RKB (12:01)
    MENUMBRA:
    Mary Jo Carlsen, violin
    Thomas Parchman, clarinet
    James Parakilas, piano
     
  6. Four Maine Haiku (7:14)
    Elliott Schwartz, piano
     
7-8.
Dream Music with Variations (21:14)
    Listen: RealAudio or MP3
    Copenhagen Contemporary Players:
    Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider, violin
    Annette Slaato, viola
    Niels Ullner, cello
    Poul Rosenbaum, piano

 

Related Links
Elliott Schwartz @ Electronic Music Foundation
Elliott Schwartz @ G. Schirmer Inc
Elliott Schwartz @ Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies

Reviews

Twenty First Century Music, February 2003 - by David Cleary

Dream On

"Elliott Schwartz's Dream Music (Capstone), consisting of small ensemble works by Ellitt Schwartz, is a title that excellently characterizes its contents. Despite possessing sentions that are full and outgoing, such as the early passages of Dream Music with Variation (a piano quartet) and parts of the finale to the violin//clarinet/piano trio A Garden for RKB, the music on this release exudes a crepuscular, other- worldly feel that imparts an appealing intimacy to the listening experience. But this is by no means flaccid stuff - undercurrents of energy are encountered in even the most subdued composition, giving this predominantly quiet music a solid backbone.

With the exception of the piano solo Four Maine Haiku, these selections rival those of Ives in their all-pervasive reliance on borrowed material. Like this older composer, Schwartz skillfully interweaves pre-existing items into the music's fabric rather than pasting them on showcase style as often happens with folks such as George Crumb. And Schwartz's filching covers a wide spectrum of sources, ranging from Gershwin's Preludes to Verdi's Otello to Schumann's Traumeri. Yet the effect is not scattered sounding - somehow, these quotes are yoked together convincingly, sounding perfectly organic next to each other. And this holds equally true for the harmonic language employed; one never gets the impression that these triadic snippets sit awkwardly within Schwartz's more dissonant baseline sound ethos. His ability to simultaneously juggle such disparate concepts as free notation, minimalist elements, extended techniques, and pitch sets - as well as the aforementioned quotes - is both inimitable and masterful.

Equally impressive is the clever way in which formats are handled. The Four Maine Haiku mirror their literary counterparts by insisting on seventeen measure units for each movement. The resultant variety obtained despite such a rigid pre-compositional decision proves striking. Even the variation procedure found in the title track is not old-fashioned in feel. And more intuitive structures such as that encountered in the violin/piano duo Memorial in Two Parts come out sounding wonderfully right. In this instance, once can cite positively the use of cyclic technique to interrelate the work's two movements.

Performances, featuring the Copenhagen Contemporary Players, the trio Penumbra, violinist Adele Auriol, and pianists Schwartz and Bernard Faucher, are excellent. With the exception of tinny piano sonics in A Garden for RKB, sound is very good. Production values are generally fine. This excellent release is strongly recommended."

 

American Record Guide - May/June, 1998 - by Sullivan

"Titled Dream Music, this recording of chamber works b American composer Elliott Schwartz lives up to its title. These somber surrealist pieces have a neo-impressionist lyricism that was popular in the 80s, when they were written, and is still with us (see Betts, piano works, this issue). Schwartzs dreamscapes are Ivesian pastiches except that the quoted fragments from such sources as Mendelssohns Midsummer Nights Dream and Debussys Pelleas are European. Like Ellen Zwilich, John Harbison, and many of his other American colleagues, Schwartz looks longingly across the Atlantic even as European composers like John Martland and Klaus Konig are attracted to American jazz and rock. It is one of the odder musical paradoxes of our time. Most of this music is well-made and highly listenable, and all of it is well performed and recorded."

 

New Music Connoisseur - Vol. 11, No. 2 - by David Cleary

"This CD, consisting of small ensemble works by Elliott Schwartz, sports a title that excellently characterizes its contents. Despite possessing sections that are full and outgoing, such as the early passages of Dream Music with Variations (a piano quartet) and parts of the finale to the violin/clarinet/piano trio A Garden for RKB, the music on this release exudes a crepuscular, other-worldly feel that imparts an appealing intimacy to the listening experience. But this is by no means flaccid stuff—undercurrents of energy are encountered in even the most subdued compositions, giving this predominantly quiet music a solid backbone.

With the exception of the piano solo Four Maine Heiku, these selections rival those if Ives in their all-pervasive reliance on borrowed material. Like this older composer, Schwartz skillfully interweaves pre-existing items into the music's fabric rather than pasting them on showcase style as often happens with folks such as George Crumb. And Schwartz's filching covers a wide spectrum of sources, ranging from Gershwin's Preludes to Verdi's Otello to Schumann's Traumerei. Yet the effect is not scattered sounding—somehow, these quotes are yoked together convincingly, sounding perfectly organic next to each other. And this holds equally true for the harmonic language employed; one never gets the impression that these triadic snippets sit awkwardly within Schwartz's more dissonant baseline sound ethos. His ability to simultaneously juggle such disparate concepts as free notation, minimalist elements, extended techniques, and pitch set—as well as the aforementioned quotes—is both inimitable and masterful.

Equally impressive is the clever way in which formats are handled. The Four Maine Haiku mirror their literary counterparts by insisting on seventeen measure units for each movement. The resultant variety obtained despite such a rigid pre-compositional decision proves striking. Even the variation procedure found the title track is not old-fashioned in feel. And more intuitive structures such as that encountered in the violin/piano duo Memorial in Two Parts come out sounding wonderfully right. In this instance, one can cite positively the use of cyclic technique to interrelate the work's two movements.

Performances, featuring the Copenhagen Contemporary Players, the trio Penumbra, violinist Adele Auriol, and pianists Schwartz and Bernard Fauchet, are excellent. With the exception of tinny piano sonics in A Garden for RKB, sound is very good. Production values are generally fine. This excellent release is strongly recommended."