Stephen Lawson, horn
J. Steven Hall, marimba, percussion
Kay Lawson, bassoon
Peggy Johnston, piano
Written for Chris and Leslie Norton, The Call of Boromir is based upon a character from Tolkien' s Lord of the Rings epic, who blew his horn in times of distress and battle. Like many of McCarthy's other works, the marimba part is extremely idiomatic and blends nicely with the timbre of the horn. This rhythmically driven piece goes and goes, leaving the audience out of breath." - Daniel McCarthy.
Daniel McCarthy is Chair of Composition and Theory at the University of Akron, School of Music. Previously, Daniel was a Distinguished Creative Professor in composition at Indiana State University where he directed the Contemporary Music Festival with the Louisville Orchestra. He is founder of the Midwest Composers' Forum and has served as President of the Cleveland Composers Guild. During summers, he is instructor of composition at the Interlochen Arts Academy. (From his web site)
Solo Suite for Horn and Improvised Percussion was written by Alec Wilder in 1954. Wilder was one of America's great composer iconoclasts. Though he studied at the Eastman School of Music, he did not graduate. He was awarded an honorary degree in 1973. It has always been difficult to classify the works of Alec Wilder. His works of the 1930's and 40's are largely popular music and songs. He was good friends with Frank Sinatra, Mitch Miller and wrote songs for luminaries such as: Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Mabel Mercer, Cab Calloway, The Mills Brothers, etc. He also wrote works for Jan DeGaetani and Eileen Farrell, New York Brass Quintet, New York Woodwind Quintet, large ensemble pieces, operas, children's songs, commercials for television, ballets, film scores, solo works for most instruments, etc.
Throughout his life, Wilder did not believe in acquiring possessions. He only owned what he could carry in three suitcases. Typically, he would travel and stay with music friends, and while there, write pieces; part inspiration and part compensation for his stay. John Barrows, horn was a very good friend of his, and it is thought that this suite was written for him, as most of the horn music that he wrote was premiered by Barrows. It is unknown for whom the percussion part was intended. However, given his many popular music friends, it could have been a popular percussionist of the day. The horn part is notated, and the percussionist is instructed to improvise, as compliments the horn part - even as to the choice of instruments.
Trio for Horn, Bassoon and Piano by Eric Ewazen was written for Scott Temple, horn and Toni Lipton, bassoon in 1983 and was premiered by them with Ewazen on piano. Scott Temple performs with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NYC Opera Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Toni Lipton has retired from her position as contrabassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Both Temple and Lipton teach and perform in the Bel Canto Institute Summer Program in Florence, Italy. Ewazen studied at the Eastman School of Music and earned a doctorate at Julliard. Among his teachers were Milton Babbitt, Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler and Gunther Schuller. Ewazen joined the Julliard faculty in 1980 and is a professor of composition. He has won several awards for compositions including a BMI award, and the Howard Hanson Prize. He has amassed a considerable repertoire of chamber works for brass, woodwinds, mixed ensembles and works for band. This trio represents his early years as a faculty member at Julliard. Though several Ewazen "signatures" can be heard, it seems less formulaic than later works. Themes are developed in all instruments and sometimes in curious juxtaposition, i.e., at one point the horn and bassoon have a theme written 1/16th apart.
Three American Folk Songs arranged by Randall Faust presents "The Wabash Cannonball", "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child”, and "I ain't gonna study war no more" using settings that are both traditional and personal. There are sound effects, such as: plucking and/or strumming the strings of the piano, and horn playing chords and spatial effects using the bell. Randall Faust teaches at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, and has taught at the Interlochen Arts Summer Academy and Auburn University. He has served as president of the International Horn Society and has been a frequent contributor to The Horn Call and composed several works for horn and horn ensemble…and an all-around good guy!
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen_lawson/14/