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Passionate enthusiasm

The orchestral music of
Meyer Kupferman -
discovered by

'... a sustained quality that is Kupferman's own, widely spread and generous, emotionally extrovert ...'

The Orchestral music of Meyer Kupferman Vol 15. © 2003 Soundspells Productions

A double CD brings us very nearly up to date with the work of the now seventy-seven-year-old New York composer Meyer Kupferman -- nearly, because his works must run into the hundreds by now, and he shows no sign of slowing down. He is the son of a Romanian gypsy folk singer who, with his Russian bride, settled in New York as a baker and encouraged his boy into a passionate enthusiasm for music which manifested itself first as a jazz clarinet performer in the Coney Island clubs of Brooklyn, and later as an arranger and composer. By 1955 he had achieved his 4th Symphony, and then in 1961 he began a series of twenty five works called Infinities, all based on the same twelve-note series, works that ranged from solo piano to opera -- The Judgement of 1966 is 'Infinities 18'. He went on to write a vast array of pieces from chamber music to cantatas, and concertos for, among others, jazz ensemble, guitar, cello and tape, and percussion.

There are three recent major works on this issue. Quantum Symphony, completed in 2000, is in three restlessly episodic movements, energetic from its beginning [Listen -- CD1 track 8, 0:01-0:58], the two outer pieces enclosing a colourfully orchestrated central movement, and unexpectedly toward the end an extended cello cadenza before an explosive orchestral coda.

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Copyright © 19 October 2003 Patric Standford, Wakefield, UK


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