Bruce Hobson - VMM CD 3017 Liner Notes
About Vienna Modern Masters CD 3017
Recorded Works


Composed for wind ensemble and percussion, Konowalski's Brewerie (Polish for "brawl" or "uproar") is dominated by mostly hammered-percussion sounds that busily chatter, clatter, and clang­and at one point perform an unaccompanied, cadenza like passage. Brewerie has an infectious spirit, bringing to mind the aural image of a slightly crazed, full-orchestra parody of David Rose's Holiday for Strings.

KENNETH STEEN - Metastasis

Metastasis for Orchestra (revised,1992) is a monochromatic work based strictly on the seven tones of the G major scale. Through the course of the work, these seven tones undergo various degrees of development using the diatonic modes associated with each: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian. This having been established as a strict melodic and harmonic limitation, it is primarily through timbral combination and evolution that the basic musical material is exposed and developed. Texture also plays a very important role in the unfolding of the work.


Into a Star was composed in the fall and winter of 1990 and is dedicated to my grandfather, Dr. Gregory I. Yasinitsky. The piece is meant to have a compelling balance of emotion, drama, and intellect. The work is in one movement with three sections: fast-slow-fast--A, B, A1. The melodic and harmonic language is often modally derived with many sounds reminiscent of the extended chords used by jazz composers. The piece has a tonal feeling as well. The fast "A" sections generally express major harmonies; the slow "B" section has a minor feeling.

BRUCE HOBSON - Three: for Two Trumpets and Orchestra

The title Three refers to several aspects of this 1976 work for two trumpets and orchestra: woodwinds and brasses in threes, two trumpets plus orchestra, and the three movements. However, the principle reason for the title is to make a suggestive reference to the instrumentation of the baroque trio sonata: that is, a pair of voices of equal range and importance plus accompaniment. This work is composed with a free and full chromaticism that can best be understood as an extension of highly chromatic tonal music.

DAVID LOEB - Suite Concertante

The Suite Concertante for Shinobue and Orchestra of Japanese Instruments. . . begins with a suggestion of a solemn dance in which the dancer stays motionless as the music starts and then with almost painful slowness increases his or her space by unfolding gestures--and only after that starts to move about. The second movement, although somewhat faster, imparts the same traditional sense. The third movement suggests vigorous professional dances, enhanced by percussion. A short epilogue provides a distant echo of the opening, with shakuhachi player offstage.

THELDON MYERS - Concertino for Orchestra

Concertino for Orchestra (1960) is intended to be a vehicle for the display of orchestral virtuosity and competition. Presented in the manner of the traditional concertino with sections of varying speed and character, the sections of the orchestra and the instruments within those sections are heard to advantage in characteristic roles. The individual instruments vie for prominence, but the sections are also featured in soloistic passages.

RANDALL SNYDER - Shamanic Dances

Shamanic Dances (1991) is a musical depiction of the Shamanic Journey. Played without a pause, its four sections--Initiation, Leopard Dance, Gait of the Aardvark, and The Eagle's Gift--relate how the Shaman (priest-healer-magician) undergoes a rigorous initiatory process and is transformed into three animals: the sinuous leopard, the awkward aardvark, and the soaring eagle. Two basic musical ideas pervade this overture-length piece. First, an ever-increasing succession of tempi...generate a progression from the slow opening pulse of 52 beats per minute to the final 161 beats per minute. After this last speed has been attained, a short coda reduces the tempo back to the first slow one. [Second], an overall rise in the orchestral tessitura is synchronized with the accelerando. Throughout this work, a large percussion section playing only non-pitched instruments is featured, simulating the ecstatic rhythms that induce the shamanic trance.