vendredi 14 mars 2014

Paul A. Epstein - Changes 6


Paul A. Epstein
Paul A. Epstein's compositions include works for a variety of solo instruments and small ensembles, as well as for voice. His long time collaboration with poet and novelist Toby Olson has produced two chamber operas as well as songs and vocal chamber music. Commissioned works include a setting of Olson’s short story, Reading, for baritone Thomas Buckner; and a setting of Robert Coover’s short fiction, The Leper’s Helix, for the Relâche ensemble.
In American Music in the Twentieth Century, critic Kyle Gann cites Epstein as “One of the finest
postminimal composers...” and calls Chamber Music: Three Songs from Home “...a vocal setting
for winds and keyboards of great contrapuntal beauty.” Epstein's music has been presented in the
U.S. and abroad by such ensembles as Relâche, Composers, Inc., counter(induction, Topology, the Circle ensemble of London, and ONIX Nuevo Ensamble de México. It is available on compact disk on the Navona, Mode, and Capstone labels. A compact disk of his recent piano music, performed by R. Andrew Lee, will be released on the Irritable Hedgehog label in 2015.
Paul A. Epstein is professor emeritus of music theory at Temple University, where he taught from 1969 to 2001. Born in Boston in 1938, he is a graduate of Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. His composition teachers included Harold Shapero, Seymour Shifrin, and Luciano Berio, with whom he studied privately on a Fulbright grant to Italy in 1962-63. He currently serves on the Steering committee of the Society for Minimalist Music.

Changes 6

(by the composer himself)

Written for Nicolas Horvath, Changes 6 is derived from a traditional English change ringing pattern known as Plain Bob Doubles, doubles indicating a set of five bells. Change ringing originated in the 17th century and may be the earliest form of minimalism. A complete ‘ringing of the changes,’ known as a peal, or extent, will include every possible ordering of the set. Here the peal is folded into a three-voice texture, each voice moving at a different pace.
Changes 6 employs a five-note mode (G-C-D-Eb-F) identical to that used in Philip Glass’s 1968 composition Two Pages, a seminal work of classic minimalism.

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