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Chamber Music

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 21, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American Classics
  • ASIN: B0002TNGZ0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,891 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I'm a composition student at the University of North Texas, and Mr. Schwantner recently gave a guest lecture to our composition department. I've heard a few of his pieces, but never owned a recording of any of his work. In my curiosity, I got this recording, and from the very beginning, I was amazed. This man does what I have never heard a composer do before, he combines aspects of several twentieth century techniques and older techniques into a seemless language. It's absolutely striking, to say the least, how he is able to transition from atonal dissonance to beautiful impressionistic harmony. One need listen only once to "Sparrows" to understand this.

I am now a permanant fan of Joseph Schwantner's, and I hope, in my future as a composer, I am able to meet him personally and tell him how much I appreciate his work.
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I found this music difficult to understand at first. But it got better after repeated listenings. Mr. Schwantner uses harmonic devices usually in the upper registers that sound ethereal and impressionistic. But he is not an impressionist. He has created a sound canvas that is unparalleled and revolutionary in its scope and expression.

I went to a concert at the University of Utah many years ago where Mr. Schwantner was present and the whole concert was devoted to his works. And they were all wonderful to listen to. If my memory serves me correctly, the orchestra played the percussion concerto and a piece for organ and orchestra which was just mind boggling. There was even a small piano piece of his published in Klavier Magazine which I still play for its sonorities and inventiveness. Also, the linear notes explained his harmonic language and how he developed his theory of using tritones and the whole note scale in his music. I would highly recommend this for the music connoiseur.
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I first learned of Schwantner with "...And The Mountains Rising Nowhere" for wind ensemble. Some how, he gets the same full sound out of chamber ensembles! This entire CD is an excellent display of musicianship by the performers and the composer. Sparrows is definitely my favorite piece; it really shows off a bit of everything that Schwantner does.

Absolutely excellent!
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