Posted By kerryturner on December 8, 2010
It has been ten years since the release of the CD entitled “Ricochet”. This disc is a compilation of various chamber music works of mine which were recorded by the American Horn Quartet, the Saturday Brass Quintet and members of the Luxembourg Philharmonic. And now, after a sell out of the original print, the CD label, MSRCD has reprinted this exciting album. Despite the many recordings of my brass quintet, Ricochet, this rendition by the Saturday Brass Quintet is probably, in my opinion, the best of them all. It was certainly the first recording of this action packed quintet, and it’s interpretation was based on the experience of having performed the work live many times. Indeed the Saturday Brass Quintet sounds magnificent! It was therefore with some concern that I lined up the AHQ recording of “Fandango” right after “Ricochet”. But my concern was unfounded. The quartet’s performance of this staple of our repertoire easily holds it’s own. And this can also be said for the recording of my Quartet Number 4 which comes towards the end of the CD. One thing that I have never forgotten is the recording session of Quartet 4 with the AHQ. We put the whole thing on tape in one day! Just a few hours. It was really the AHQ at it’s zenith.
There is a very interesting group of three pieces on the Ricochet CD- The Labyrinth (large brass ensemble), The Seduction (string quartet) and Quarter-After-Four (horn, violin and piano). These pieces are sort of a trilogy and really belong together. On the CD, they lead seamlessly from one to the other. And when heard in this way, they make perfect sense. The instrumentation of these 3 works is such that it would be difficult to stage a performance of this trilogy. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that someday, somebody will attempt it. These pieces are dark. I composed them all from a very deep and dark place inside my mind. You can read all about them in the CD liner notes. The recordings of “The Seduction” and “Quarter-After- Four” are, by the way, taken from live concerts.
“The Pocono Menagerie” for trumpet, horn, tuba and piano may just be one of the most beautiful and atmospheric works I have ever composed. I have often pointed to it as one of my favorite compositions. This rendition was also done very quickly, as I recall. We were trying to record takes between bursts of jack hammer noise outside the concert hall. It was a tough business, I remember. But the recording turned out quite lovely.
You can order this CD directly from MSR Classics. The catalog number is MS 1064 and the website is www.msrcd.com. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for somebody who is a fan of the my music or the American Horn Quartet, then this CD would really be perfect.