Eastman Series, Vol. 2
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Easy listening new music.

Look at the gems on this disc! Look at some of the performers; Jan DeGaetani, Bonita Boyd, Verne Reynolds. For contemporary music lovers this series from Eastman is a feast. David Maslanka studied clarinet, conducting and composition. His principal composition teachers were Joseph Wood and H. Owen Reed. "I consider my Duo for Flute and Piano to be something of a milestone in my composing. It emerged fully formed from a part of me with which I wasn't at the time very familiar. It whispered, it cried, it shrieked, when on the surface I had no idea that I was doing any of those things. As has been the case for 30 years of composing, my music consistently reveals things to me in advance of its arrival in my conscious mind. If the Duo revealed pain and depression, it also revealed a search into mystery, a love of the beautiful, and a penchant for formal construction and precision of detail - all issues which have occupied me in the intervening years, issues which have been the premise of a composer's life." Heaven to clear when day did close is really a concerto for tenor saxophone and string quartet. It is in one movement. Warren Benson has had a long and distinguished career that includes an appointment at the Eastman School of Music from 1967-1994. Upon accepting a commission from the International Horn Society for a major work featuring the horn, Mr. Benson chose to write a song-cycle for mezzo-soprano, horn, English horn, cello, and marimba. "In Songs for the End of the World I wanted to write something that the composer might treat either as a song cycle or as an internalized one-woman short opera."
Contents:
Warren Benson, composer
Songs for the End of the World
Jan DeGaetani, mezzo, Verne Reynolds, French horn, Robert Sylvester, cello, John Beck, marimba, Philip West, English horn, Warren Benson, conductor

David Maslanka, composer
Duo for Flute and Piano
Bonita Boyd, flute, Robert Spillman, piano

David Maslanka, composer
Heaven to clear when day did close
Ramon Ricker, saxophone, James Lyon, Clay Purdy, violin, Nancy Holland, viola, Carol Purdy, cello, Sydney Hodkinson, conductor

Review:
"Albany once again presents us with a fine package, well designed, with high production values, fine notes, and song texts. I don't expect this Eastman series to be revelatory, but it is valuable (so far) in raising the profile of a second level of American music, otherwise represented haphazardly. My hesitancy on this disc is born more of personal taste than a problem with quality. I think the listener interested in American art song or in new American classical music would find this, as well as the first volume, a fine addition to the catalog." (Fanfare)
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