MICHAEL GANDOLFI (b.1956): Q.E.D.: Engaging Richard Feynman for Chorus and Orchestra, JENNIFER HIGDON (b.1962): On a Wire for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 03M093
Label: ASO Media
Description: Higdon's is a concertante piece for the 'eighth blackbird' sextet and orchestra, a thoroughly engaging piece highlighting the soloists' individual and collective virtuosity and spirited performance style. Beginning with an amusingly misleading introduction making much of extended techniques, the piece soon settles into a mid-20th-century tonal idiom, with a lively post-minimal propulsiveness alternating with sections of genuinely melodious lyricism. Gandolfi evokes the spirit of the unique and brilliant physicist Richard Feynman (even the title punningly suggests the nature of the man; Q.E.D. - Quantum Electrodynamics, and 'That which was to be shown'; and Engaging Richard Feynman: He certainly was; and, we are provided an opportunity for doing so. Using fragments of text from various poets, Gandolfi has produced a work of appealing accessibility with an underlying substance and serious message. The work is tonal and romantically lush, propelled by lively post-minimalist energy (and with some colorful birdsong references in the second piece) posing musical questions and then arriving at a grandly unified resolution of absolute and satisfying conviction. eighth blackbird, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chrous; Robert Spano.