"This CD consists of the title track, Diary of a Seducer, composer Robert Martin's 40 minute collection of guitar solos, duos and trios; followed by Charles Wuorinen's Sonata for Guitar and piano, Milton Babbitt's Sheer Pluck, and Elliott Carter's Changes. William Anderson is the guitarist throughout, joined by pianist Joan Forsyth and guitarists Oren Fader and Mark Delpriora. These are the first recordings of the Diary and of the Sonata for Guitar and Piano, which was written for Anderson and Forsyth. Of all of Anderson's various recordings now on the market, this recording contains the most heavy-duty, old guarde complexity, which Anderson performs with irresistable power, subtlety, and charm. The new name among the composers on this collection is Robert Martin. One immediately wonders if Martin's work holds up next to the three giants whose works follow his. Martin's Diary of a Seducer is a collection of 36 miniatures, and each makes its own unique point, teaching the listener the language as the music progresses. This is a language which explores the range between melody and pointillism through a seemingly endless profusion of means. For me the climax of the work is the first trio, number 31, where the guitars are playing chromatic notes pointilistically against one another so fast that the texture bubbles into a froth, yet Martin achieves a sense of progression and evolution in this texture which culminates in transfomations to completely new textures. The cumulative effect of the set is very strong and the work stands proudly amongst the in perfectly with the other three. Martin is obviously influenced by Carter in the manner in which he establishes musical activities taking place on different planes--some activity recedes into the background, while other activity is thrust into the foreground. Wuorinen's Sonata for Guitar and Piano is powerful and driving in the outer sections, tender and Romantic in the slower middle section. It is a tour de force in its employment of two instruments which are somewhat similar, but have utterly incompatible dynamic ranges. The guitar is too soft for the piano. Wuorinen makes the combination work by designing beautiful interweaving among the two instruments, and through a masterful use of register.The Babbitt and Carter works are well known, but Anderson brings to them qualities which have never been brought to these pieces before. The counterpoint has remarkably clarity in the Babbitt, and the Carter's mercurial contrasts and transformations have never been given so much character."
Check out track #31
marsyas | 10/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Track 31 justifies the cost of this disc-- This track is the first trio in Robert Martin's epic 40-minute collection of guitar solos, duos and trios. This music teaches us how to hear in new ways as the collection proceeds. Throughout we hear melodies melting into pointillism. Number 31 is the pointillistic climax, and yet there is harmonic motion--it is not static like Ligeti or Penderecki. The music moves and culminates in a new order. In this listing, Robert Martin's piece is left off--Where it saysOn This CDThe first piece should be1. Diary of a Seducer by composer Robert Martin/ book 1 for guitar solo (William Anderson)/ book 2 for two guitars (Anderson and Fader)/ book 3 for three guitars (Anderson, Fader Delpriora)/2. Sonata for Guitar and Piano by composer Charles Wuorinen/ with William Anderson, guitar and Joan Forsyth, piano."
Diary of a Seducer
chin-chih yang | new york, ny United States | 10/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's strange -- When I received the CD, I discovered that Diary of a Seducer was not written by Babbitt (or Anderson, the guitarist). Nevertheless I thought it was brilliant."
Richard Johannsen | 12/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank Heavens Anderson goes beyond "merely interpretation" of the Robert Martin solos. He sometimes plays very freely, but the result is stunning. I particularly admire the way he orchestrates the pieces. Anderson pioneered Martin's music. He was the first to perform the entire Diary of a Seducer, both on his own concerts and with the Theater Chamber Players (Washington D.C.) His ensemble, Cygnus, gave the first performance of Martin's Charred Beloved, for guitar, cello, violin, oboe, and flute. That work went on to receive performances with the Theater Chamber Players, and with Parnassus (a New York City group). There is another trio for guitar, alto flute and violin entitled Winter Shadows, which was written for the Cygnus Ensemble. Anderson worked closely with Martin, who was at the recording session of Diary of a Seducer. Also check out Martin's little guitar solo -- Henry's Lullaby -- written for Anderson's son Henry days after he was born. It is on Anderson's Furious Artisan's disc entitled Hausmusik. Henry's Lullaby is embedded in one of the movements of Winter Shadows. I'm a big Martin Fan and a big Anderson fan."
Diary of a Seducer
Timothy Todd Tipton | 11/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a guitarist, I purchased this CD well after already learning to play many of the Robert Martin solos. My first impression was a dissapointing one. In too many cases, the rhythyms are not played with accuracy and venturing out of the realms of mere interpretations. In many cases during the Martin solos, the interpretations lack good use of timbre and controlled dynamic shadings. I hear very little effort being made to bring out phrases within the music. There are so many opportunities to bring life to this music, and William Anderson fails to deliver. I get the feeling that anyone who enjoys this, is not already familiar with the music. I think if one heard a better rendition, it would change opinions. Anderson doesn't say something completely and without being redundant, and he certainly doesn't seduce.I can't say much about the duets because I can't bring myself to listen to them. Martin doesn't really flaunt the fact that he is writing for 2 guitars. The trios are a different story and are a pleasure to the ears. The Wuorinen piece is great and is the best material on the CD. Even if you don't consider yourself a big fan of Wuorinen, you very well may love this piece."