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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Modes, Society of Composers, Inc., Volume 30

The world of new music continues to flourish. Time does not stand still. We can hear that nicely on the 30th volume of recent compositions for the Society of Composers' ongoing anthology series. Modes (Navona 6051) gives us a wide-ranging gathering of works from seven worthy but lesser-known exponents.

We hear some high modernism from Karen Keyhani on her chamber ensemble work "As Far as Possible," a lively oboe-cello-percussion trio entitled "Valence II" from Robert A. Baker, a solo flute sound poem "Princess Ka'iulani" by Nolan Stolz, a cycle for mezzo-soprano and string quartet "Five Love Songs" from Arthur Gottschalk, Benjamin D. Whiting's electroacoustic "Melodia sin Melodia," "A Mournful Cry" for solo guzheng by Yip Ho Kwen Austin, and a chamber sextet, "Acoustic Field," by Chin Ting Chan.

Time goes by quickly as each work has its say and moves on. It is a bellwether of how diverse new music can be these days, but also a vivid example of the talent and highly evolved craftsmanship that shows itself in such abundance in our times, nowhere more so than on this volume.

Anyone who seeks the new today will find plenty of works of interest here, well performed and happily contentful. Recommended.

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