DANE RUDHYAR: Five Stanzas, Epic Poem (CP2; dist. by NMDS, 500 Broadway, NYC 10012) This is Rudhyer at his more gnarly and granitic, as opposed to the hazier, almost luminescent style that he uses in some of his works which are directly influenced by Impressionism. The influence of composers such as Debussy is not entirely absent, rather it is subsumed.
In Five Stanzas for string ensemble, the rhythms are angular and sometimes driving, while the dissonances are sharper than those of the Impressionist mold. The final Stanza does, however hearken back to the turn of the century style with its open intervals that suggest an ancient or oriental flavor. The work is dedicated to Carl Ruggles to whom it owes much in terms of its seething energy and great sense of continually building tension. It is a crime that this work of 1927 is not performed with any regularity by the many chamber orchestras that litter the concert scene.
The Epic Poem for piano of 1979 proves that Rudhyar continues to forge ahead in spite of the undeserved neglect he has received. It is an extended tone poem that bristles with dissonance and authoritative power. Its aggressiveness is unlike several other recent piano works which are more contemplative and inward, though a central section is quite subdued. The Poem is given an impressive performance by the twentieth century specialist, Robert Black, to whom it is dedicated. -Dean Suzuki
Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-12-95