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Phoenix USA
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JDT 118
Alexander Scriabin WORKS FOR PIANO (24 Preludes Op.11/ 5 Preludes Op.74/ Poem Op.32)
Ruth Laredo, piano
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Lou Harrison Pacifika Rondo
Four Pieces for Harp
Two Pieces for Psaltery
Music for Violin with Various Instruments
Oakland Youth Orchestra Pacifika Rondo
Robert Hughes, conductor  
Beverly Bellows, harp Four Pieces for Harp
Lou Harrison, Psalteries Two Pieces for Psaltery
William Bouton, violin Music for Violin with Various Instruments
William Colvig, sheng and fang-hsiang  

It's about time that Harrison's uniquely beautiful oeuvre is starting to get the attention that it surely deserves. After all, where else can we find a voice in contemporary music so immediately attractive, original, and completely uninhibited? The major work here is "Pacifika Rondo", for a typically Harrisonian combination of far eastern and western instruments, with the emphasis on the percussion section. The music mixes all sorts of styles as it travels around the Pacific rim, and even contemplates The Bomb in a twisted atonal idiom. It's both humorous and disturbing at once. The other instrumental pieces are all attractive essays in Harrison's contemplative vein. Performance and sonic values are quite high. In sum, a worthy addition to this composer's growing discography. May it continue to increase.

David Hurwitz: Fanfare Magazine

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