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The works on this disc are all world premiere recordings. In Spirit Voices for percussion and orchestra, Stucky has instead explored mythical beings from around the world, including Coyote, the trickster god of the Navajo Indians, mountain goblins of Japanese folk culture, and the Scottish bean nighe, a banshee portending death. Written for the performers on this disc, the score consists of seven movements in which the percussionist sometimes plays a soloistic role, and in others is integrated into the orchestra.
Pinturas de Tamayo is the result of American composer Steven Stucky’s encounter with the art of the Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo. Initially struck by the painting ‘The Great Galaxy’ – reproduced on the cover of this CD – he chose this and four other paintings as his points of departure for a five-movement suite.
Steven Stucky: Spirit Voices
I. Jiu huang ye: Con forza
II. Bean nighe: Largo notturno
III. Ellyllon: Vivace
IV. Te Mangoroa: Largo
V. Coyote: Energico
VI. Tengu: Allegro di molto
VII. Wah'Koh-Tah: Sereno, luminoso
Steven Stucky: Pinturas de Tamayo
I. Amigas de los pajaros (Friends of the Birds): Vivo
II. Anochecer (Sunset): Calmo
III. Mujeres alcanzando la luna (Women Reaching for the Moon): Moderato
IV. Musicas dormidas (Sleeping Musicians): Adagio
V. La gran galaxia (The Great Galaxy): Tranquillo
Steven Stucky: Concerto for Orchestra No. 2
I. Overture (with Friends): Allegramente
II. Variations: Andante calmato
III. Finale: Allegro energico
“The recorded sound serves Stucky's fastidious orchestral sense handsomely, and those looking for contemporary music that is approachable but never facile will find undoubted rewards here.”