Author Topic: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux  (Read 1153 times)

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snyprrr

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Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« on: March 23, 2016, 07:49:58 AM »
Ursula Mamlok (b.1928)

She is the female Composer most directly linked to Babbitt and Shapey, and writes in a very standard Serial manner, somewhat Webernesque, but mostly in the mold of the American Serialist School, sounding to me a lot like George Perle, perhaps with not as much Serial Impressionism but still sounding like "approachable" Serialism.

At this point, we can really just discuss her based on the current recordings. Here's how I will break it down:

1) There are two CRI CDs, one of mostly older works (CRI 891), and one of newer works (CRI 806). The former is very Chamber oriented, whilst the latter has her only Orchestral work, 'Constellations'.

Her most famous piece is the Piano Trio 'Panta Rhei' ('Time in Flux'), on 891 (and also on two other recordings), and, frankly, it has been a favorite since I heard it on the Music&Arts disc of American Piano Trios. It's 8 minutes are perfectly judged, and I think all would find some pleasure here. CRI891 also has a Sextet (1977) and another ensemble piece from the same era, which strikes me as her high water mark.

I was somewhat disappointed by the Orchestral work conducted bt Gerard Schwarz. Sure, it sounds like it could be on a number of compilation CDs, and it starts off well enough, but, by the end I just found it quite common, in a semi-Serialist, somewhat noisy way.

2) Naxos- there is now a very good Naxos disc which includes a charmingly early-Serialist String Quartet (No.2 is on CRI806) along with other Chamber Music that makes this my choice for a companion to CRI891.

3) Then there is the series of CDs on Bridge that seems to be up to Volume 5 at the moment (to be released). Most of the pieces on the Naxos disc, and CRI891, are re-done here, but, because of expenditure, I would like you to consider the cheaper alternatives. This series seems somewhat haphazard, and I can't really recommend one as the standout; the competing performances are as good as the other, so, you could get away with CRI891 and the Naxos disc, and be happy therewith.


Go through the samples and you'll find neat, trimmed, mercurial Serialism, with no real scares. I like more of her 60's output, when, I guess, she was more under the spell of Babbitt and Shapey and Perle. This period runs into the early 80's, culminating around the time of 'Panta Rhei'. Listen to 'When Summer Sang', for ensemble, on CRI 891, for an example of some nice Serial Impressionism a'la Perle. Still, there is a certain degree of "I'm a Serialist Composer, dammit" to some of this music, and, I certainly can't lift up Mamlok above the generic "Uptown Serialism" of the NYC crowd, but, as with most, there are some nice things to hear. In all, start with 'Panta Rhei', and if you like that, CRI891 and the Naxos disc may be all you need. Or, you can shell out for some of the more expensive Bridge discs, but, I'm not sure the sound or performances are that much better than the less expensive alternatives.

Enjoy!

Offline Scion7

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Re: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 10:53:27 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7yqaL24tXU

Dunno - doesn't really seem to go anywhere?
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snyprrr

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Re: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 07:09:51 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7yqaL24tXU

Dunno - doesn't really seem to go anywhere?

Yea, that's not the piece I would have hoped for you to hear. Try, as a last resort, the 8min. 'Panta Rhei' Piano Trio, probably her best work. Yea, I'm not totally pulling for her here, - I just pull the nuggets out--- by hand, donchakno

Offline Scion7

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Mamlok's Hammock: she passed on May 4, 2016
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 06:51:40 AM »
I forgot about this thread -
I posted the news on her death in the other section.

I like the string quartet, at least.



« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 09:39:15 AM by Scion7 »
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Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2016, 08:49:48 AM »
I've listened to most of the works on the Naxos recording above. They are impressive in their use of catchy rhythms and tight phrasing, but in the end what I hear are intervals rather than melody, simultaneity rather than harmony. I like most of what I hear to some extent, but I'm fresh out of enthusiasm for works seemingly composed for the "academy." But it's mostly a matter of trends: pure serialism is now what neoclassicism was in the 60s and romanticism was in the 1920s...saturated and uninteresting to the ear (at least mine). Still, she had a lot of talent and was a success...no small feat.

snyprrr

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Re: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 05:38:30 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7yqaL24tXU

Dunno - doesn't really seem to go anywhere?

You said this about a sick old woman, how could you?! ???

Not one aggregate left behind, young man!! >:D

EVERY mother is a wonderful serial composer, don't you forget that- have some respect for the dead works of academia!





OK- sorry,



So, well, this Thread was started just in time,hmm.


I've listened to most of the works on the Naxos recording above. They are impressive in their use of catchy rhythms and tight phrasing, but in the end what I hear are intervals rather than melody, simultaneity rather than harmony. I like most of what I hear to some extent, but I'm fresh out of enthusiasm for works seemingly composed for the "academy." But it's mostly a matter of trends: pure serialism is now what neoclassicism was in the 60s and romanticism was in the 1920s...saturated and uninteresting to the ear (at least mine). Still, she had a lot of talent and was a success...no small feat.

yea, of course both of you are just stating what any of us would have, meaning, we're all quite capable of spotting a duck from quite a distance. Mamlok DOES do many of the "right things" and all, but ultimately seems to drown in the the very sea of iewishamericangermanrussianacademicsophistry that engulfed the entire generation.

oy dont get me started... coffeee (I did find Babbitt's cultural arrogance the most surprising, but then no)


Still, I'd recommend the Naxos or 'Panta Rhei'CRI discs, not the CRI disk with the flowers.


BEST WORKS:

'Panta Rhei' for Piano Trio

String Quartet No.1

'When Summer Sings' for Ensemble

Offline Scion7

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Re: Mamlok's Hammock: Time in Flux
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 10:56:28 AM »
Sick old woman?
That tuff ol' lady lived to be 93!
Not many can say that.   :)

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.