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Music of Lou Harrison

3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 1, 1991
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$16.82
$12.95 $6.00
$16.82 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Music of Lou Harrison + Serenado + Lou Harrison: Chamber and Gamelan Works
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The major work here is "Pacifika Rondo", for a typically Harrisonian combination of far eastern and western instruments, with the emphasis on the percussion section. The music mixes all sorts of styles as it travels around the Pacific rim, and even contemplates The Bomb in a twisted atonal idiom. It's both humorous and disturbing at once. The other instrumental pieces are all attractive essays in Harrison's contemplative vein.

Review

Performance and sonic values are quite high. A worthy addition to this composer's growing discography. -- David Hurwitz: Fanfare Magazine

1. Pacifika Rondo
2. Four Pieces for Harp
3. Two Pieces for Psaltery
4. Music for Violin with Various Instruments European, Asian and African

Product Details

  • Performer: Beverly Bellows, Lou Harrison, William Bouton
  • Orchestra: Oakland Youth Orchestra
  • Conductor: Robert Hughes
  • Composer: Lou Harrison
  • Audio CD (January 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Phoenix USA
  • ASIN: B00005YXZO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on February 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As I am writing this review arrangements are being made for the cremation and funeral of Lou Harrison, who died over this passed weekend (Feb. 2) on his way to a concert of his music in Ohio. Harrison was a treasure, one of the last remaining mavericks of the early 20th century. He managed to bridge both the experimental and mainstream compositional worlds of the 30s, being a friend of Cage, Partch and Cowell, but also of Virgil Thomson and Copland. This wide ranging eclectism can be found in his work as well as his life. His musical influences range widely, from Rennaissance and Baroque dance forms, through serialism, Americana and most importantly the music of Pacific Rim cultures. Harrison was a life long experimenter, never content to sit in one style or direction. And to the end of his long life he remained a facile, active composer, but always acessible. He will be missed.
Judging from the activity on my other reviews of Harrison's work, his passing has generated some new interest in the composer. I am glad of that. His work deserves it. And the present CD is as good a traversal of the composer's work as you can find. Though the four works on the album are diverse, they share Harrison's love of exotic sonority, just intonation and above all meltingly beautiful melody.
The major work on the album is Pacifika Rondo. Composed in the 60s for the East/West Center at the University of Hawaii, the work is written for an orchestra of western and eastern instruments. Each movement centers around a specific culture or scene in pan-Pacific culture. Korean, Buddhist, Chinese and Mexican influence are at play in many of the movements. The sixth movement is unique in the piece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The premiere of Pacifika Ronda, the first work on this collection of diverse small works by Lou Harrison, took place in 1963. This was long before interest in 'world music,' which blossomed with rise of the hippie movement, before Nonesuch was issuing its first Explorer series, before World Pacific jazz discovered that Japanese koto and Indian sarod music had an audience in the United States. Classical composer Harrison, however, was already interested in Indonesian scales and rhythms, inheriting the legacy of Colin McPhee. He was exploring other Asian sounds, and indigenous Meso-American sounds. Thus, in Hawai'i, already a very Pacific state of many residents of Asian heritage, the strange music with unusual instruments was well received. Here was a performance of music that adapted Korean piri reed and chango drum, Chinese zheng zither and fang hsian metallophone, Japanese daiko drum and sheng/sho reed mouth organ. The music is stately as gagaku of the Japanese court, peaceful as a Buddhist temple in a Chinese forest, flowing as rain in Bali, as wild as an Aztec ritual. It was not traditional music, and indeed some of the instruments were Western in design and construction, but it conjured the exotic Orient and Amer-Indian cousins nonetheless. Harrison was a lyrical composer whose instrumental palette was as rich as experimentalist Harry Parch's. The one track that sticks out as a sore thumb is a 12-tone Cold War statement of the nuclear threat and militarism. Fortunately, the final track takes us away from the brink to a pond of majestic, kind dragons. Thus, already in 1963, Harrison had laid the foundation for his 1972 masterpiece La Kora Sutra.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Heard it in the seventies and just now returned to it. Still outstanding to me. Quality very good.Glad it is available!
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