Bernadette Speach


mode 16

Without Borders


mode 16 Bernadette SPEACH: “Without Borders” – chamber & solo works performed by Bowery Ensemble, Jan WIlliams, Michael Pugliese, Anthony de Mare; Jeffrey Schanzer, Oliver Lake, Thulani Davis, Myra Melford, etc. Composer Supervised

In stock

Without Borders
Various performers. Compact disc. Program notes in English, French and German, and texts to the 6th work inserted in container.

1. Moto (1982)  7:18

The Bowery Ensemble: Leonard Krech, trombone. Michael Pugliese, percussion. Nils Vigeland, piano.

2. Pensées (1983)  9:10

Jeffrey Schanzer, guitar.

3. Trajet (1983)  8:32

Leonard Krech, trombone.
Jan Williams, percussion.

4. Sonata (1986)  12:12

Anthony de Mare, piano.

5. Shattered Glass (1987)  7:21

Michael Pugliese, percussion.

6. Telepathy: Poetry/Music Suite (1987)  12:38

I. “Contessas & Cardsharks”
II. “Telepathy”
III. “Boppin’ is Safer than Grindin'”

Thulani Davis, reciter.
Lindsay Horner, contrabass.
Jeffrey Hoyer, trombone.
Oliver Lake, alto sax.
Myra Melford, piano.
Jeffrey Schanzer, guitar.
Bernadette Speach, piano.

The first recording of music by Bernadette Speach, a student of Morton Feldman, Nicolas Roussakis and Lejaren Hiller. Her music fuses many influences – the gentleness and spareseness of Feldman with the sound of modern jazz. This CD showcases all sides of her compositional talent, including the “cool” Telepathy: Poetry/Music Suite to texts by Thulani Davis (who wrote the libretto for Anthony Davis’ opera on Malcolm X, X). Davis appears here to recite her own words against an ensemble of New York’s leading jazz musicians. Composer supervised.

Released 1988.

Language : English, French, German.


“The latter works, …from 1986-87 are lovely. These include the piano sonata (played by Anthony de Mare) that is both expansive and concentrated, and a richly detailed percussion piece (“Shattered Glass,” performed by Michael Pugliese). The capper is “Telepathy” an engaging, three-movement “poetry/music suite” done in collaboration with writer Thulani Davis, who declaims her poems with exquisite cool.”
San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 1989

“These first recordings by New York composer Bernadette Speach are, as the title suggests, not easily classified. Firmly in the academic tradition, several are spare, elegant studies (the three “Pensées” for guitar, “Trajet” for trombone and percussion), others more active but essentially closed in their compositional limits. In remarkable contrast to the reflective solo pieces, “Telepathy” bristles with wit and loose-jointed, almost-jazz scenes from a quintet.”
—Dan Mayron, Option Magazine

“Speach, a Morton Feldman protégé, often captures the suspended dynamism and coloristic vision of her mentor, but the work is further infused with her own considerable musical personality. Particularly notable are the sensitive performances of Pensées by guitarist Jeffrey Schanzer (Speach’s husband), percussionist Michael Pugliese’s adept reading of “Shattered Glass” and the Bowery Ensemble’s focused rendition of “Moto”; this latter work is outstanding among the pieces collected here.”
—Jeff Talman, Ear Magazine

“At forty-one, Speach is one of the movers and shakers of the New York music world. She was a student of the late Morton Feldman; her music tends to be made up of soft repeated gestures and simple contrasts of sonorities. On the other hand, her rhythm is very unFeldmanish, precise in its pulsations, yet with a tendency to pause before changing directions. The performers are among New York’s and Buffalo’s best new music specialists. Good variety here within an introspective yet active personality we hadn’t heard from before, and highly recommended.”
—Kyle Gann, Fanfare


Bernadette Speach on Mode:
Bernadette Speach: Reflections (mode 105)
Schanzer/Speach Duo: Dualities (mode/avant 02)

Morton Feldman on Mode:
Aki Takahashi plays Morton Feldman (mode 54)
Vol. 2:  First Recordings: 1950s-with the Turfan Ensemble
(mode 66)
Vol. 3:  Complete Works for Violin and Piano-Sabat/Clarke Duo
(mode 82/83, 2-CDs)
Vol. 4:  The Straits of Magellan – Indeterminate Music – with the
Turfan Ensemble (mode 103)

Myra Melford on Mode:
Anne LeBaron: The Musical Railism of Anne LeBaron (mode 42)

Michael Pugliese on Mode:
Perkin’ at Merkin (mode 25)
Luciano Berio: The Great Works for Voice (mode 48)
John Cage: Vol.4: Music for Merce Cunningham (mode 24)
Anne LeBaron: (mode 30)

Nils Vigeland on Mode:
Michael Pugliese: Perkin’ at Merkin (mode 25)

Jan Williams on Mode:
John Cage: Europera 5 (mode 36)

Bernadette Speach profile
Jeffrey Schanzer profile
Thulani Davis profile