MUSIC FROM RARITAN RIVERNew American Music for Guitar
Randall Avers, Dušan Bogdanović, Michael Karmon, Lowell Liebermann, Roberto Sierra, Augusta Read Thomas, Rami Vamos
NEWMAN & OLTMAN GUITAR DUO
Michael Plays A 1978 Pre-Millennium Thomas Humphrey
Laura Plays A 1981 Pre-Millennium Thomas Humphrey
World Premiere Recordings
"Dusan Bogdanovic’s Sevdalinka , with its Bartókian/Eastern European melodies, modal harmony, and Balkan/African polymetric rhythms, is a colorful introduction to this eclectic recital by the Newman/Oltman guitar duo. Strings, courtesy of the Daedalus Quartet, vigorously propel the outer movements; in the third, drumming on the guitar bodies increases the rhythmic excitement while adding ethnic color and mysteriously enhances the gradually intensifying Adagio espressivo... As might be expected from such an experienced duo, Newman and Oltman are completely in synch with the program’s fluctuating moods and idioms, and play flawlessly. The Daedalus Quartet’s playing in Sevdalinka is similarly top-notch. A winner all around."
Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare [November/December 2009]
"[Newman & Oltman's] performances are consistently fine... Newman & Oltman play all this material with high artistry and a strong grasp of the essence of some very challenging music."
American Record Guide [May / June 2009]
PROGRAM NOTESRaritan River Music (RRM) was founded in 1989 to serve a rural community in western New Jersey with chamber music concerts in historic venues and outreach programs in health care facilities and schools. In 1999 RRM established the New Music Commissioning Program. We, along with many others throughout history, believe that the creation of new music is the essential reason to perform and present music. Without new compositions, performance loses vitality and, more important, relevance. Patronage is necessary to allow artists the freedom to express their most truthful, daring visions, which may not be popular or familiar to their audience. Posterity will judge the results.
This CD, our 12th over the past thirty-five years, represents fifteen years of planning, rehearsing and performing this new music around the world, plus dozens of grant application submissions, meetings with composers and foundation directors, trips to work with composers in California, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and more.
Five of the six selections on this CD were premiered at the annual Raritan River Music Festival in New Jersey, and four were commissioned by RRM for The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo. (The Sierra piece was composed for the Gray and Pearl Duo; we performed the New York premiere. Vamos and Avers wrote their collaboratively-composed music while still college students.) The compositions presented here represent a wide variety of individual perspectives and compo-sitional styles. Some of the composers are well established and widely known and others are just beginning their careers. We encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about their myriad accomplishments and performances of their works.
All the composers commissioned through RRM speak with the audiences at the premiere performances, and most spend days with us at area schools. The composers help de-mystify their work by sharing in discussion and demonstration during outreach programs that foster within the community a sense of appreciation and participation in the music's creation. Since the premieres, the pieces have been performed around the world.
Our heartfelt thanks go to all the foundations and individuals who supported these commissions and the recording project, as well as to the RRM Board of Trustees for their commitment and undying enthusiasm for the vital work of the organization.
We hope that you enjoy the amazing diversity of the music on this recording. It has been a remarkable journey to bring it to you.
Laura Oltman and Michael Newman
Carpentersville, New Jersey
PROGRAMDušan Bogdanovic (b.1955)
Lowell Liebermann (b.1961)
NOCTURNE-FANTASY, OPUS 69 (2000)
Roberto Sierra (b.1953)
THREE HUNGARIAN TRIBUTES (1996)
à Bartók ~ à Liszt ~ à Ligeti
Augusta Read Thomas (b.1964)
Michael Karmon (b.1969)
CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS (2003)
Rami Vamos (b.1976) & Randall Avers (b.1974)
THREE SONGS FOR TWELVE STRINGS (1997)