Chamber Music of Lowell Liebermann

Andres Diaz (cello), William Terwilliger (violin), Andrew Cooperstock (piano), Erika Eckert (viola), Ying Quartet

Catalog #: TROY0684
Release Date: September 1, 2004
Format: Digital

Peter G. Davis writes: "Spanning the years 1978 to 2001, the music on this disc gives a useful overview of the musical aims and stylistic development of a prominent, productive, and often provocative American composer between the ages of 17 and 40. It is a useful mini-survey and a revealing one as well. All five works are written for small instrumental combinations, an exposed medium in which no composer has ever found an easy place to hide. In chamber music every note counts, and the composer must make the performer as well as the listener feel actively engaged with the music's substance and forward progress at all times, if the piece is to emerge as a fully satisfying listening experience. Anyone who listens closely to Lowell Liebermann's scores has to be impressed by their ability to do precisely this in music notable for its clarity and textural lucidity. Some will be tempted to call these works neo-romantic, neo-classical, post-modern, or any number of other fashionable terms, most of them not very helpful. Labels are often misleading, but one thing is certain; Liebermann is not concerned with startling his audiences by experimenting with radical new structures, never-before-heard musical sounds, or extended instrumental techniques. Indeed, he adopts a more conservative stance that apparently stings certain critics for whom novelty is absolutely essential if a new work is to be considered artistically valid. So much the worse for them. Liebermann is too busy composing to enter into such aesthetic arguments. The title of each piece on this disc honestly describes what it is, and in terms that composers as far back as Haydn and Mozart would recognize. Liebermann's music falls gratefully upon the ear, but it is filtered through the sensibility of a composer who clearly lives in our time and is fully aware of the tumultuous musical upheavals of the past century, even as he consciously makes the choice to offer us something that rises above the fray. Liebermann writes music that above all strives for balance and beauty - and braininess as well, for all those who care to dig beneath the surface. It is a healthy sign of the times that a composer can once again choose to be accessible in this way and not be automatically squashed and discouraged by the mandarins of contemporary music. Such was the fate of many American composers active in the generation that preceded Liebermann, and the new music scene is still in recovery from those bad old days."


Choose your platform

Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Trio No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 32 Lowell Liebermann William Terwilliger, violin, Andres Diaz, cello, Andrew Cooperstock, piano
Concerto for Violin, Piano & String Quartet, Op. 28 Lowell Liebermann William Terwilliger, Andrew Cooperstock, piano, Ying Quartet
Two Pieces for Violin and Viola, Op. 4 Lowell Liebermann William Terwilliger, violin, Erika Eckert, viola
Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Op. 46 Lowell Liebermann William Terwilliger, Andrew Cooperstock, piano
Trio No. 2 for Violin, Cello and Piano, OP. 77 Lowell Liebermann William Terwilliger, violin, Andres Diaz, cello, Andrew Cooperstock, piano


  • "I am very impressed with what I hear on this recording..."

    – American Record Guide

  • "[Lowell Liebermann's] music is tonal, accessible, clearly structured, idiomatic to the instruments, and frankly beautiful..."

    – Strings

  • "Liebermann's more conservative highly rhapsodic, gorgeously melodic, and dramatically charged."

    – Robert Reilly, Crisis magazine

*Album cover provided for Editorial use only. ©Albany Records. The Albany Imprint is a registered trademark of PARMA Recordings LLC. The views and opinions expressed in this media are those of the artist and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and opinions held by PARMA Recordings LLC and its label imprints, subsidiaries, and affiliates.