Various Artists

Witnesses of Time: Chamber Music of Marc Satterwhite

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Witnesses of Time, a collection of chamber works by composer Marc Satterwhite, is as eclectic in instrumentation as it is in source of inspiration. The first work on the program, entitled Epitafio, is a work for the unlikely combination of English horn and percussion, and is dedicated to the memory of two individuals active in the arts in Amarillo, TX. The recorded sound of the non-pitched percussion instruments is a little dead and unresponsive, but the interplay between horn and pitched percussion provides for some interesting sonorities. The second piece, for solo cello, bares the name of the album itself and is inspired by photos by Flor Garduno. Satterwhite continues to involve a strong percussive element in this solo work by using the cello itself as a percussion instrument. There are moments in the recording when the cellist's intonation seems highly suspicious and sound quality does not appear to be uniform. In both Witnesses of Time and the subsequent work Memento Mori 1, Satterwhite uses as his subjects visual and performance art, but the liner notes are insufficient to give listeners a true representation of what the composer is attempting to represent musically. The final piece, Concertino à Tre, was written more as a commission of sorts and features flutes, bassoon, and piano and the three musicians in different combinations of solos, duets, and trios; it is also the most accessible work on the album.

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