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'A quite wonderful CD of a composer and his music that should be at the forefront of live concert activities.'

The music of Andrew Imbrie -
by a devoted admirer, BILL NEWMAN


The music of Andrew Imbrie, born New York, 1921 of Welsh/Scottish descent has always appealed to me. He studied piano and composition with Leo Ornstein from 1940-2; later with Robert Casadesus. Most of his influences, though, came from private studies with Roger Sessions from 1938-48, and he worked in Rome during 1947-51/1953-4 where he picked up the coveted Prix de Rome. The early 1942 String Quartet is dedicated to Sessions.

Imbrie says this about his musical style: "It is a little like describing one's voice and manner. It is easier to say what it is not, than to say what it is. It does not strive to be American like my nationality, nor Scottish like my ancestry. It is neither experimental nor conventional. I always start at the beginning and let the ideas shape themselves as they must; the direction they will pursue and the changes in character they will undergo become increasingly clear as I go on."

Andrew Imbrie - Requiem - Piano Concerto No 3. (c) 1999 Bridge Records

Requiem (1984) was his response to the sudden death of his son John in 1981, not yet 19 years of age known as a first-rate student, curious and diligent always striving to find and understand what lay beneath the surface, already an accomplished musician and a considerable athlete. Medicine and research then turned his attentions towards planning a college major in biochemistry, physics and Peace Corps service following. But it was not to be. Imbrie's music sums up the warmth, courage and humanity of the boy's visions, the only tempered violence heard in the percussion writing almost in a sense of unresolved disturbances and frustrations for unfullfilled ambitions.

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Copyright © 7 October 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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