Author Topic: Erb's Blurb  (Read 5798 times)

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johnQpublic

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Erb's Blurb
« on: August 13, 2008, 04:30:56 AM »
Always a favorite with me. What an imagination and sense of playfulness he displayed.

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2008/08/donald_erb_avantguard_composer.html

karlhenning

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 06:12:07 AM »
May light perpetual shine upon him.

(Gotta love the polyglot avant-guard in the headline . . . .)

Joe Barron

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 06:23:03 AM »
(Gotta love the polyglot avant-guard in the headline . . . .)

I'm an editor, too. That smarts.

I didn't know Mr. Erb's music well, but what I've heard, I've liked. Marvin Rosen played his "Watchman Fantasy" on WPRB Princeton this morning in homage. It's quite an attractive piece. What a shame that I think of exploring a composer's music only after he's gone.

karlhenning

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 06:25:44 AM »
Don was a colorful personality, and his musical creativity was laced with mercurial wit. My sole personal connection to him was, that he graciously agreed to serve as the outside reader for my doctoral dissertation.

My favorite story of Don came from my old chum, Houston Dunleavy, a former student of his. A prospective composition student would go to Don's office at the Cleveland Institute of Music; and in this none-too-spacious office, the prospective student would find himself mysteriously crowded by a bewildering variety of Elvis paraphernalia, most of it quite characteristically tacky: an Elvis cuckoo-clock here, a three-quarter-size cardboard cut-out of The King there. Don would conduct the interview with deadpan professionalism. At the end of course he would ask the pr. student if he had any questions. As often as not, the interviewee would ask about, you know, all this Elvis stuff. Don would fix his gaze into the interviewee's eye, and reply with steady earnest: "Because he's the enemy."

karlhenning

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008, 07:34:33 AM »
Tangentially . . . .

What a shame that I think of exploring a composer's music only after he's gone.

(* Jeevesian cough *) I hope you won't wait that long before exploring the music of someone named Henning?

Or, if those should be your terms, I hope you may have a very long wait, indeed.  0:)

greg

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2008, 03:28:06 AM »
I'll have to listen to my Erb CD again today in remembrance:


Solstice / Evensong / Concerto for Orchestra

springrite

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2008, 04:59:03 AM »
I feel so bad admitting on this day that I have no Erb CDs in my collection. I have heard a couple of his pieces and liked it, but have not purchased any CDs. I hope to remedy that in the future.

R.I.P.

gomro

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 12:35:40 AM »
Always a favorite with me. What an imagination and sense of playfulness he displayed.

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2008/08/donald_erb_avantguard_composer.html


Around 1972 or so some famous band came to our jr.high school for a concert. I can't recall much of what was on the program; I remember something by Schuman, but I'm not sure what. What I do remember clearly, and will never forget, was a piece by Erb called Stargazing, which was the first avant-garde music I ever heard, as well as the first electro-acoustic piece (taped Moog sounds accompanied the band). I've never heard it again -- as far as I know, it's never been recorded -- but I have quite a few Erb discs, and of course Stargazing opened a door for me that led me into a much bigger world of music than I dreamed existed at the time.

Requiescat in pace, Maestro!

karlhenning

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 04:24:07 AM »

Joe Barron

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008, 07:50:35 AM »
Off topic alert: Paul, Kimi is beautiful.

We return now to our regularly scheduled topic.

snyprrr

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 08:08:24 AM »
Don was a colorful personality, and his musical creativity was laced with mercurial wit. My sole personal connection to him was, that he graciously agreed to serve as the outside reader for my doctoral dissertation.

My favorite story of Don came from my old chum, Houston Dunleavy, a former student of his. A prospective composition student would go to Don's office at the Cleveland Institute of Music; and in this none-too-spacious office, the prospective student would find himself mysteriously crowded by a bewildering variety of Elvis paraphernalia, most of it quite characteristically tacky: an Elvis cuckoo-clock here, a three-quarter-size cardboard cut-out of The King there. Don would conduct the interview with deadpan professionalism. At the end of course he would ask the pr. student if he had any questions. As often as not, the interviewee would ask about, you know, all this Elvis stuff. Don would fix his gaze into the interviewee's eye, and reply with steady earnest: "Because he's the enemy."

Cutting to the chase...

So, I'm talking to this guy, and I find out he's a musician, and,...blahblah,...he says the Composer-in-Residence was Donald Erb.

It just so happens that I was checking this Thread just days before and came across your post, and,.....

this guy says to me, "Do you know who Erb's favorite musician was?" And, I was stumped. He says, "Elvis."

Haha, so, I felt so,...mm,...it was supernaturally strange, let me tell ya, but I related the story in YOUR post, about Elvis being the enemy. In the end, we couldn't come to a conclusion.

So, which is it, haha??? ??? I assume that Erb had a love/hate relationship with Elvis, perhaps.

Still, what a coincidence that I read this post, and then just a day later,...poof! And, trust me, when I met this guy, it was in a place where I was literally thinking, "I'd never meet someone who knows who Ligeti is, here." Wow, God surely does work in mysterious ways!!! At least I have a new friend (he's the Navy bandleader here,... cool!).




On the Erb front, I've been checking the discography. I currently have the Koch disc Greg showed, and I used to have the CRI "The Devil's Quickstep" cd, and the Albany chamber disc (w/ SQ No.2)

The Koch disc is scintillating from first to last. I'm curious about the NewWorld disc of concertos (w/Lynn Harrell), and the Koss disc of concertos.

There are also 3 chamber discs on NewWorld that I'm eyeing. Does anyone have any Erb?


snyprrr

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2010, 08:09:17 AM »
Can we change the Thread Title to "Erb's Blurb", seeing that the guest who started this is probably long gone?

snyprrr

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2010, 08:09:42 AM »
Cutting to the chase...

So, I'm talking to this guy, and I find out he's a musician, and,...blahblah,...he says the Composer-in-Residence was Donald Erb.

It just so happens that I was checking this Thread just days before and came across your post, and,.....

this guy says to me, "Do you know who Erb's favorite musician was?" And, I was stumped. He says, "Elvis."

Haha, so, I felt so,...mm,...it was supernaturally strange, let me tell ya, but I related the story in YOUR post, about Elvis being the enemy. In the end, we couldn't come to a conclusion.

So, which is it, haha??? ??? I assume that Erb had a love/hate relationship with Elvis, perhaps.

Still, what a coincidence that I read this post, and then just a day later,...poof! And, trust me, when I met this guy, it was in a place where I was literally thinking, "I'd never meet someone who knows who Ligeti is, here." Wow, God surely does work in mysterious ways!!! At least I have a new friend (he's the Navy bandleader here,... cool!).




On the Erb front, I've been checking the discography. I currently have the Koch disc Greg showed, and I used to have the CRI "The Devil's Quickstep" cd, and the Albany chamber disc (w/ SQ No.2)

The Koch disc is scintillating from first to last. I'm curious about the NewWorld disc of concertos (w/Lynn Harrell), and the Koss disc of concertos.

There are also 3 chamber discs on NewWorld that I'm eyeing. Does anyone have any Erb?

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2011, 08:11:22 PM »
Yes, I know there's another Erb Thread, but, c'mon, hey, either change the Title of that one to Erb's Blurb, or,... but, please don't keep the Donald Erb RIP Title. Besides, who else ::) is going to be the custodian (notice the word 'toadie'?) of this Thread anyhow, I ask you?

I'm sure my comments have already been enshrined in the other Thread (we'll see how this works: UNITE for 'Erb's Blurb',... I mean, really, what else is there?), but I think it's time for a minute appraisal.

I have enjoyed the brash exuberance of the Sederes/Koch cd since it came out, and thought him one of the few I could count on for the kitchen sink. I've had some of the available CRI/Albany/New World,... oy, does it ever end with these American labels? ???,... but I am listening now to the Slatkin/New World disc with concertos for brass and cello, and Ritual Observances.

Ritual Observances is a typical, Modern, Showpiece. Though, maybe not. But, I hear Erb in it: American somehow, perhaps Southwestern, with many magical sounds, every instrument it seems being called upon to play double duty. There is some of the Villa-Lobos primal play, though drier, yet that much more brilliant. Opulent and luxurious, this Music is the epitome of the New World discography: everything always sounds like the Last Word. Thankfully, then, one can judge the music.

I hear a Modern, sober, Revueltas, of course American, with jean jackets. But Erb also knows the '60s, and he does know how to make things pop. This work on New World continues all the traits that I liked on the three pieces on the Koch disc (which includes a Concerto for Orchestra).

The Concerto for Violincello and Orchestra is something I'd like to throw up in the air and see what happens: there are a lot of Cello Concertos since the '80s, with contributions from many major Composers. Rouse comes to mind. Carter has one now. And I have to admit a certain skepticism about Newish Cello Concertos. I mean, ... yea?

So, all I can hope for is that I won't roll my eyes. Well, this piece does sound somewhat like a Cello Concerto; after all, Lynn Harrell is the Soloist, so, who wouldn't try this after Rouse/Ma? Just off the top of my head, maybe it's not a fair compare, but the two pieces are slightly similar, yet vastly different. Erb retains his penchant for mysterious sounds, and meaningful sounds (I am noticing a deepness and richness to his channeling). Rouse is a bit hysterical. Perhaps it's all in the locale?

I'm surprised how understated this Concerto is. Of course, as soon as I wrote that, a spritely cadenza begins! And again, cascading bells and metallic percussions signal the orchestras entry. Well, none of it's really as aggressively ugly as so much American Serious Music can be; but, it's not Neo Romantic,... it's fairly Expressionistic Impressionism or ... I hear a little bit of the Varese/Xenakis vigor here too, so I guess Stravinsky might be a root.

I was going to stop, but his Concerto for Brass and Orchestra starts off quoting a winking nod to the 'Space Musics' of both Strauss and Ives! Very nice, haha!! :-* Well, the short review is that this exciting Concerto, much more so than the CC, is in the best Erb tradition: multi-layered, Avant, with Beethovenian(?) Drama, states of being changing quickly. I do have to say that the St' Lous SO sounds scrumptous on this whole record: recording dreamy sound for Hard Ears Music was/is New World's thing, baby!

ok, I'm just bloviating. Erb's Blurb!! ;) ;D 8)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2011, 10:46:52 AM »
Can we change the Thread Title to "Erb's Blurb", seeing that the guest who started this is probably long gone?

Done. Please continue...

 :D

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

snyprrr

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Re: Erb's Blurb
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2011, 07:18:34 PM »
Done. Please continue...

 :D

--Bruce

Haha, 'JohnQPublic', that's funny. I was actually worried it was someone regular! :o Thanks! ;)


I think there are currently four cds of Chamber music by Erb:

1) CRI- the one that has The Devil's Quickstep, and I think two Quintets (one with harpsichord),... I had this one and let it go, I don't know, I think it was all over the map, mostly early stuff, pretty wild but I let it go...

2) Albany- the one with String Quartet No.2 (partially played with chop sticks),... I think there are either doublebass or bassoon duets here, along with something cello,... I had this one and let it go, too,... once again, maybe to much different kinds of stuff (I think there was a synthesizer somewhere) for me at the time...

3) Albany(?)- the one with String Quartet No.3,... it too I think has a mixed bag of discmates, but I haven't heard but the samples of this one,... sounds ok...

4) New World 'Sunlit Peaks & Dark Valleys', or something like that, includes a more cogent mix of pieces, with harp and violin solos, a clarinet trio, and other similarly grouped pieces,... the samples here reveal his newer music to exhibit the traits that I enjoy in Erb...

5) New World 'Drawing Down the Moon',... this one centers on winds, with a band symphony, a clarinet solo, a Stuart Dempster trombone piece, and a piccolo and percussion piece,... this one too has more of the qualities that I like in Erb...


I think his strength might be in numbers, though, as no small work can match the sounds of an orchestra. I will think of trying one of those last two cds though,... they sounded very much more mature than the earlier works.

I think he also has a choral work that figures in a lot of recital cds.