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Wonderful exuberance

A new release of music
by Nancy Galbraith -
recommended by

'... music to be played and heard again and again.'

Nancy Galbraith: Atacama. Albany Records. © 2003 Nancy Galbraith

This disc is the newest release of music by American composer Nancy Galbraith (born 1951). Galbraith is based in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA area and nearly all of the performers on this disc (and the impetus for the creation of these works) are based or connected to the Pittsburgh area. In recent years, Galbraith has become best known for a series of wind ensemble pieces which have been widely performed and recorded. This disc, although it includes one work for wind ensemble, gives a broader portrait of Galbraith's instrumental music.

Galbraith teaches on faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, an institution which seems to have a lively dialogue and relationship with many ensembles, performers, and composers from Latin America and Spain. Three of the works on the recording reflect this dialogue.

Overall this is a disc of tremendous energy and wonderful exuberance. None of these works are pieces to listen to while falling asleep. This is stay awake! music that demands and compels active and repeated listening. Although Galbraith's musical language uses primarily diatonic elements (and heavy uses of modality -- both traditional and idiosyncratic), none of this music reveals all its secrets on a first hearing. This is music to be played and heard again and again.

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Copyright © 1 October 2003 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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