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Terry Riley - The Palmian Chord Ryddle - At the Royal Majestic (2017)

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Terry Riley - The Palmian Chord Ryddle - At the Royal Majestic (2017)

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The Palmian Chord Ryddle (2011) 	(35:23)
1 	I. Starting From Here - 	5:19
2 	II. Iberia - 	6:34
3 	III. Slow Drag - 	3:13
4 	IV. Towards The Clouds - 	5:49
5 	V. For Maresa - 	3:11
6 	VI. Ghandi-Ji's Danda - 	5:23
7 	VII. Wedding Music - 	4:22
8 	VIII. The Afterglow 	1:33

At The Royal Majestic (2013) 	(33:58)
9 	I. Negro Hall 	15:36
10 	II. The Lizard Tower Gang 	4:37
11 	III. Circling Kailash 	13:45

Tracy Silverman - violin [electric] (tracks: 1 to 8) 
Todd Wilson - organ
Nashville Symphony
Giancarlo Guerrero - conductor

 

The late career of Terry Riley, who was 82 years old when the later of these two works, At the Royal Majestic, was recorded for this album in 2017, has received less attention than that of Philip Glass or even Steve Reich. The resurgent Nashville Symphony under Giancarlo Guerrero makes a good case here that such neglect is misguided. Riley has written a number of concertos in the 2000s, often for specific instrumentalists, and the two works here are concertos of vastly different character. The motor rhythms of early minimalism are used, but by this time they are more an accent than a structural element. The Palmian Chord Ryddle (2011) is an eclectic, playful eight-movement work for electric violin and orchestra, with the electric violin of Nashville's Tracy Silverman offering some quartet-like effects, but steering mostly clear of highly extended techniques. The "Palmian Chord" of the title is a cluster-like sonority of Riley's own devising, appearing at the beginning. Several movements have a strong jazz influence -- sample the "Slow Drag" -- effectively set off against the Indian sounds of "Gandhi-Ji's Danda" and other contrasting sections. The piece, although fully notated, has a loose, improvisatory feel. Even stronger is At the Royal Majestic, an homage to the golden age of the theater organ, for which Todd Wilson and his Martin Foundation Concert Organ provide an effective stand-in. Engineering kudos go to producer Tim Handley and engineer Gary Call for maintaining clarity in an extremely diverse set of materials. Highly recommended. ---James Manheim, AllMusic Review

 

Terry Riley’s name will always be associated with his breakthrough work In C, but his influence on modern music has stretched far beyond minimalism. Both of the works on this recording reveal Riley’s spirit of exploration and his close collaboration with remarkable musicians. Commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, The Palmian Chord Ryddle is a kind of musical autobiography in which electric violin pioneer Tracy Silverman’s “one-man string quartet” sets the pace for the sparse, translucent orchestration. At the Royal Majestic is another recent example of Riley’s work with a symphony orchestra and a virtuosic soloist, in this case organist Todd Wilson. Its title refers to “the mighty Wurlitzer housed in grand movie palaces,” and the music draws on a wide variety of genres including gospel, ragtime, Baroque chorales, and boogie. ---naxos.com

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