Sunday, September 14, 2014

Colin McPhee - Tabuh-Tabuhan - Symphony No.2 - Concerto for Winds - Nocturne - Transitions

Colin McPhee (1900-1964) is primarily known for his ballet Tabuh-Tabuhan, and this disc gives us the opportunity to fill out the picture of this extraordinary composer. McPhee is primarily known for his work with Balinese gamelan music (and his influence on Britten and Lou Harrison in particular), and the music here is certainly influenced by that work. The result of the influence is that McPhee's music really sounds like nobody else's; the gamelan patterns are primarily used for textural effects, creating cascades of color and exotic harmonies that really had no precedent. In other words, McPhee's music is instantly recognizable, but also thoroughly memorable and exciting. He was a true maverick composer, and quite ahead of his time. Enjoy.

Even McPhee's early music has a marked tendency to use layers of ostinati. When he first heard cylinder recordings of Balinese music he was entranced. He married Jane Belo, an anthropologist (and graduate student of Margaret Mead). They traveled to Bali, where Jane built a home in the hill country. McPhee vigorously notated the melodies and rhythmic devices of every gamelan he heard. He is credited with saving a number of gamelans that were likely to go out of existence, and of resurrecting some older instruments and styles. The couple adopted a child, Samphi, who later became a member of a Balinese dance troupe that toured the United States.


Symphony No.2 (1957)
1) Moderato misterioso
2)Elegy - Lento - Molto Tranquillo
3)Molto Energico

Concerto for Wind Orchestra (1960)
4)Tempo giusto

7)Transitions for Orchestra (1954)

Tabuh-Tabuhan (Toccata for Orchestra and two Pianos)  (1936)
8)Ostinatos - Animato
9)Nocturne - Tranquillo 
10)Finale - Quieto e misterioso 

11)Nocturne for chamber orchestra (1958)

1 comment:

Toon van Dijk said...

I've search the history of your uploads and I found a lot of interesting posts. It will take some time to download all and even more time hear all.
I send you my regards with best wishes for 2015