What's in a Name?

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Although self-professed symphonies, concertos, and suites are far from disappearing (new examples are created each year), many composers are feeling an impulse to give their pieces an utterly unique name. Some go for an evocative image, others for something ambiguous or quirky, and sometimes a piece has a baffling name that nonetheless encourages a listener to check it out.

Today the Brothers Balliett look at four composers that lean towards the unique and imaginative side when titling their work. Eric Moe's frozen hours melt melodiously into the past delivers the icy, ethereal atmosphere he promises in his title, along with a dose of his trademark rhythmic vitality. Jeffery Mumford's gorgeous vehicle for Miranda Cuckson, the concerto for violin and chamber orchestra through a stillness brightening, achieves the author's poetic goal.

Caleb Burhans, Grey Mcmurray and Angelica Negron are also represented among the whimsical and wholly original title-givers, but you'll have to tune in to discover what they've created. You won't regret it.