ìIn Ned Roremís End of Summer (1985) for clarinet, violin and piano, dramatic juxtapositions seem to be the workís organising principle. Hearing the Gotham Ensembleís recent recording, I imagined that the lyrical ideas (including quotaions, like a memorable turn from Brahmsís Op 111 Quintet - not the Third Symphony, as I mistakenly claimed in my review ) were nostalgic, backward glances. But this more forceful interpretation by The Fibonacci Sequence has convinced me that these ideas, although ë suggested by musical works of yoreí (in the composerís words) exist very much in the present. Without postmodern trickery, Rorem shows us that seemingly disparate elements can coexist quite happily.
One hears a similar kind of musical detente going on in parts of Bright Music (1987) for flute, two violins, cello and piano - particularly in the opening Fandango, inspired by the image of a rat inside a rubbish bin. This is a substantial, delightful suite centred on a brilliant scherzo movement (ëDance-Song-Danceí) that enfolds one of Rormís loveliest tunes. The slow movement (entitled ëAnother Danceí) is an expansive , aching song without words, and the woodwind finale a clever and ultimately unsettling take on the last movement of Chopinís Funeral March Sonata.
Book of Hours (1975) for flute and harp, is structured on the timetable of monastic prayer, beginning with Matins and continuing through Lauds all the way to Vespers and Compline. There are few sweet meoldies here, though Roremís language is always expressive. ëSext(Noon)í is especially touching with the fluteís shakuhachi-like glissandi sighing over the harpís exquisitely fragile song.
The performances by the Kingston University based Fibonacci Sequence
are consistently polished and persuasive. Clear recording, too, through the instruments are placed very close to the microphones, which can put a bit of an edge on the flute and violin. Very strongly recommended.î