JAMES TENNEY (b.1934)
1. Critical Band (1988) 18:04 First recording.
PAUL A. EPSTEIN (b.1938)
2. Chamber Music: Three Songs from “Home” (1986) 17:38 First recording.
Barbara Noska, mezzo-soprano
THOMAS ALBERT (b.1948)
3. A Maze (With Grace) (1975) 13:36 First recording.
4. Devil’s Rain (1977, revised 1986) 9:27 First recording.
Founded in Philadelphia in 1977, Relâche is devoted to the development and performance of contemporary music with an emphasis on works of an experimental nature. Epstein’s Chamber Music sets the poems of Toby Olson. Albert’s A Maze (With Grace) is literally a maze, through which the players gradually intimate the hymn Amazing Grace until it finally emerges in full-form from a delicately colored tonal mist. His Devil’s Rain is an exciting mininalist excursion. James Tenney’s Critical Band explores the microtonal possibilities which occur as the ensemble gradually expand on the range of pitches above and below a central pitch of A-440, prompting John Cage to comment that Critical Band was one of the most interesting compositions he had heard in years. All works were commissioned by Relâche. Relâche recently released a CD on O.O. Discs.