Something Fishy

You’re probably not used to hearing anything strangely familiar on PostClassic Radio, but if some of the chord progressions ring a bell in coming weeks, it’s because I’m playing some selections from CRI’s disc The Alternative Schubertiade. On September 12, 1997, a bunch of the most incorrigible Downtown composers, invited by Phil Kline, got together at American Opera Projects to pay homage to good old Franz Schubert. I reviewed that concert, they recorded and released it, and I’m playing:

Nick Didkovsky: Impromptu in Eb Major, arr. Minsky Poplov

Annie Gosfield: Cram Jin Quotient

Roger Kleier: Sighted Sub, Sank Same

Kitty Brazelton: Fishy Wishy, and

David First: Thought You Said Sherbert

As I wrote at the time, “The cohesive logic of sonata form was never very congenial territory for Schubert anyway, and his weakest passages are those in which he dutifully fills out the repetitions and transitions of his Beethovenian heritage. The Downtowners liberated his melodies from sonata duty, and his shards of beauty shone just as bright without being glued together.”

Also, to satisfy a request, Ben Johnston’s experiment in endless melody, his String Quartet No. 6. Twelve-tone, but it doesn’t sound like it, AND in just intonation at the same time. I do take requests! Sometimes.

UPDATE: And now, a mini-festival of Australians, Margaret Legge-Wilkinson and Ron Ford from Canberra, Alistair Riddell from Melbourne, and Ross Bolleter from Perth.