Aided by splendidly wide-ranging sound necessary for Ives' large forces - orchestra, chorus and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet on piano - Davis conducts a performance of such passion and precision (for Ives' tricky use of quarter tones
) that the composer's ramshackle structure sounds blazingly effective.
The only shard of purposeful-sounding assonance in the first half of the concert comes when Sde puts aside the nai and picks up his clarinet -- a beast big enough to allow the player to bend its notes to the maqam's quarter tones
This is Romantic music at heart, but with a Modernist twist: quarter tones
and unresolved dissonance lie cheek-by-jowl with sweeping, lyrical motives and jaw-dropping virtuoso displays.
20 (1982), the performer is required to sing in quarter tones
. And once begun on this road, it is exciting for the singer to contemplate how much further tones can be divided.
There is no specific mention of quarter tones
On the second-to-last track, one horn plays a call that sounds like an Arabic chant, with shimmering piles of vibrato and delicious quarter tones
. The ensemble responds with gorgeous harmonies that sound like Gabrieli if he had lived on the Silk Road.
It's not super crazy, no quarter tones
or that sort of thing.
These are bare-bones transcriptions: no slurs, accents, double stops, glissandos, quarter tones
; thus, no indications of performance practice.
Gathering colors, one after another, brother of half patches, stepfather of quarter tones
brought to a sketch, an easel, like offerings for a poor box.
Her husband claimed he could write any tune in tonic sol-fa, but one song he refused even to attempt, saying that 'She changes the doh in every verse' and that the air was full of quarter tones
I begin to paddle, easy at first, then digging in, pushing with one arm while pulling with the other, the long shaft and thin blades extensions of my hands, moving in quiet rhythm, the water falling away in quarter tones
that will be my mantra for the next ten days.