Four vs. Four

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Terrance contrasts two similar and disparate works: Four Pieces by Jean Sibelius and Four Roses by Annie Gosfield.


Both of these works are for cello and piano, and showcase both instruments equally. Siblelius' work, completed in 1919, is a familiar tradition we have all grown to love and revere. Gosfield has continued in this tradition, but requires the pianist and cellist to detune their instruments very specifically and precisely to perform her work, which was written in 1997.

Terrance also brings a works by Lou Harrison, no stranger to non-traditional tunings, Michael Harrison's Night Vigil for harmonic piano, a seven-foot grand Harrison altered in order to facilitate alternative tunings.

As listeners who were brought up on Western scales and pitches, how jarring is it to hear these different tunings? And which piece do you prefer: Four Pieces or Four Roses


2 Pieces for Piano 6 Hands: Romance
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
Vovka Ashkenazy, piano
Dody Ashkenazy, piano
London/Decca 470291

Etude No. 2
Philip Glass
Philip Glass, piano
Orange Mountain Music 0009

Paul Lansky
Hannah MacKay, voice
Bridge 9050

Arvo Part
Jean Jacques Kantorow, conductor
Tapiola Sinfonietta
BIS 834

Four Pieces, Op. 78
Jean Sibelius
Truls Mork, cello
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Virgin 45034

Four Roses
Annie Gosfield
Annie Gosfield, sampling keyboard
Ted Mook, celo
Tzadik 7040

Strange Meadowlark
Dave Brubeck
John Salmon, piano
Naxos 559301

Far East Suite: A Tone Parallel to Harlem
Edward K. (Duke) Ellington
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Angel/EMI 57014

Steve Reich
Paul Hillier, conductor
Theatre of Voices
Steve Reich Ensemble
Nonesuch 79430

Night Vigil
Michael Harrison
Michael Harrison, piano
Cantaloupe 21043

Suite for Cello and Harp
Lou Harrison
Nina Flyer, cello
Dan Levitan, harp
Koch 7465

Four Proverbs
Michael Torke
Catherine Bott, soprano
Michael Torke, conductor
Argo Band
Argo 443528

Meditation, Op. 42/1
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Joshua Bell, violin
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Berlin Philharmonic
CBS/Sony 94832