This convenient and nicely remastered collection brings together several of pianist/composer Elodie Lauten's most influential recordings from the 1980s, several of them previously unreleased in any form and most of them never before available on CD. The first disc contains her first full-length album, a five-work program titled simply Piano Works that includes her post-minimalist masterpiece "Cat Counterpoint" (imagine Pere Ubu and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic collaborating on a set of strict arpeggios). It also features her "Concerto for Piano and Orchestral Memory," a nine-movement piece in which the orchestral accompaniment is consistently altered by electronic means. The second disc includes two pieces: "Variations on the Orange Cycle" (a piano piece structured around a 24-hour cycle of activity and utilizing Lauten's "universal mode improvisation" technique, and which frankly works a bit better in theory than as a listening experience) and the more apparently free-form "Sonate Modale" (a piece for piano with synthesized backing track). Not everything works perfectly, but all of it is interesting and the collection as a whole is definitely worth hearing.
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Concerto for Piano and Orchestral Memory|
Track Listing - Disc 2