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The management of this concert showed some worthwhile innovations. Several of the performers were musicians hired for the occasion, and thanks to Music Department funds, the eight pieces played (from Leon Kirchner's composition seminar) all received competent performances. The evening lacked the impromptu quality which has usually marred these concerts, and a fine crowd came to hear it
None of the eight works departed far from conventional practices--as is advisable for most student composition. The most clearly unorthodox technique was the instrumentation of flute, clarinet, piano and percussion in the Cadenzas in Transition of Ivan Tcherepnin.
The eight compositions were quite varied in both medium and style. Of the two string works, Steven Jablonsky employs the light texture of slippery, imitative lines in his quartet, and Tison Street's Trio possesses great reflectiveness. Robert Koff and Tison Street, violins, Giora Berstein, viola, and Madeleine Foley, cello, all clearly had a technical mastery of the music.
This was true also of the performance of Luise Vosgerchian in the Two Pieces for Piano by David Johnson and three movements from the Five Pieces for Piano of William Valente. These two works contrast in the same manner as the string pieces: Valente absorbs himself with motivic variation, Johnson with stormy declamation. A third work, the Sonata for Violin and Piano of James Walker, is close to Johnson, if with more reserve, for both possess a nostalgia like the piano (not the better-known music) of Aaron Copland. Finally, the sentimental harmony and florid lines of the traditional song style appear in the Three Songs of James Freeman, sung capably by Jean Lunn.
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