Western Wind

Meredith Monk: Basket Rondo; Eric Salzman: Jukebox in the Tavern of Love

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This album offers premiere recordings of a pair of contemporary works, which spring from connections among the two composers and the Western Wind. The two pieces go together extremely well: both combine minimalist gestures with aspects of early music, but the two are entirely different in effect. Meredith Monk's Basket Rondo combines solo passages with voices "woven" together in a manner reminiscent of medieval organum, while Eric Salzman's Jukebox in the Tavern of Love is designated a set of madrigals and replicates the textures of that English-Italian Renaissance form. But Salzman's piece is a little comic drama set in a New York tavern during a power outage, featuring as characters the bartender, a nun, a dancer, an orthodox rabbi, an Irish poet, and a Consolidated Edison employee. The work gets major points for sheer originality, and both pieces are enjoyable for anybody. Recommended.

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