Original Liner Notes by Barney Childs (1964)

Bertram Turetzky (b. 1933) is one of the best known solo and chamber performers in the country as well as one of the busiest.  He functions as teacher (on the faculty of the Hartt College of Music, University of Hartford), director (the Hartt Chamber Players, assistant director of the Hartt Collegium Musicum), and editor  (editor-in-chief of the Music for Double Bass series, New York) in addition to fulfilling a demanding schedule as performer.  He has been a featured soloist at concerts and festivals of all kinds - the "Music in Our Time" series in New York; the ONCE festival at Ann Arbor; programs for ACA, ISCM, and the Composers’ Laboratory; the American music Festival of radio stations WNYC and WBAI; at the Living Theatre - and at leading colleges and universities in the east and midwest, including Columbia, Yale, Smith College, Wesleyan, Bennington, the Universities of Illinois, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and so on.

"My chief life’s labor," he says, " has been to do something about the problem of repertoire for my instrument, and I have approached this problem from two sides, the first involving research in our musical heritage from the 18th and 19th centuries and the second involving discovery and commission of new works by the composers of own time.  The result so far is that the repertoire as I knew it seven years ago has been tripled."

ADVANCE RECORDINGS has selected six pieces from Mr. Turetzky’s repertoire of more than sixty solo and chamber works written for and performed by him in the last seven years.  The result, we feel, is not only a dramatic and challenging virtuoso recital of impeccable musicality, but also a generous look at the exciting new work being done by the younger generation of American composers.  Since each piece was recorded under its composer’s supervision and in the hall of the composer’s choice, this recording is completely authoritative.

Assisting Mr. Turetzky are Nancy Turetzky, flute; Shirley Sudock, soprano; Josef Marx, oboe; and Patrick Purswell, flute.  Gustav Meier conducted the Gaburo work.  All program notes except for those on the Martino work are the composer’s.

Kenneth Gaburo (b. 1927) teaches composition at the University of Illinois.  He has received numerous honors, including a Fulbright grant, a UNESCO Fellowship for Creative Artists, and commissions from the Koussevitsky and Fromm Foundations.  His range of compositions extends from chamber music to opera (The Snow Queen, The Widow) and theater music (Tiger Rag, Hydrogen Juke Box, plays by Seyril Schochen).  He has recently completed his first electronic score, Antiphony III, for chamber singers and electronic vocal sounds.  TWO was recorded in Sprague Hall, Yale University; engineer was Dr. Walter V. Corey.

"TWO was written on commission for Bertram Turetzky.  The composition, through specific associations of musical and poetic elements, derives not only the mood but also the structure of its music from those of the text.  As the text progresses in mood, shows an increase in the incidence of particular sounds, and tends toward shorter phonetic durations, the music progresses correspondingly:  instrumental articulations proceed from heavy to light, dynamics proceed from loud to soft, and sound and silence durations proceed from long to short.  Further, through pitch-registral association with points on a grammatical diagram of the poem, a basis for the musical shapes was obtained."

The poem:
Two loves at variance
Yours and mine
Two lives in the balance
And many a day seems so
Bright and true are none
As yours, as mine
Ssh...a rain comes so...
To bathe or cool
Night is seemly silent
So less hot and bright
When splishing pebbles talk
I wonder if we might
- Virginia Hommel

Ben Johnston (b. 1926) began composing at age 11.  He has worked with Milhaud and with Harry Partch, from whom comes his interest in microtonal just intonation.  He has been on the faculty of the University of Illinois since 1951, particularly as music director for the dance division of the music department.  He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1959 and has worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.  The DUO was recorded at the home of Salvatore Martirano, Urbana, Illinois; engineer was James Campbell.

"The DUO for flute and string bass was written for Bertram and Nancy Turetzky in April, 1963.  It is in three movements: Prelude, Interim, and Flight.  The pitch organization of all three movements is serial, being based on twelve-tone rows made up of combinational hexachords.  The two rows used in the outer movements are both shown, during the second movement, to be derived from a simpler row composed of symmetrically arranged segments.  A cadenza near the end of the last movement again interconnects the thematic material.  Especially in the first two movements, many of the pitches are inflected microtonally.  The rhythmic texture of the first movement is polyrhythmic, that of the second based upon proportional durations, and that of the last movement composed of changing metric patterns and proportional tempi."

Donald Martino (b. 1931) is assistant professor of music theory at Yale University.  His honors include commissions from the Paderewski Fund and the New Haven symphony, two U.S. Fulbright grants to Florence, Italy, prizes from the Pacifica foundation and from BMI, and the selection of his Trio for violin, clarinet, and piano to represent the United States at the 37th Annual festival of the ISCM Festival at Amsterdam.  CINQUE FRAMMENTI was recorded in the Bliss Music Room of the University of Hartford; engineer was Joseph Lavieri.

"This little divertimento (CINQUE FRAMMENTI) was composed at the request of Messrs. Turetzky and Marx and is dedicated to them.  Fragment I, Allegro, is expository since it is the most rigorously structured movement and since from it the materials for all remaining fragments are drawn.  While twelve-tone principles are operative in all initial movement, only pitch-class controls are consistently operative throughout the remaining fragments:  Lento, Andante, Andantino, Adagio Molto."

George Perle (b. 1915) is a professor of music at Queens College in New York.  Among his most important works are the Three Movements for Orchestra, which had its premiere performance at the ISCM Festival in Amsterdam in 1963, the Serenade for Viola and Ten Solo Instruments, a Quintet for Strings (recorded by Walter Trampler and the Beaux-Arts Quartet), two Quintets for Wind Instruments, a Sonata for Piano, and numerous pieces for solo intruments.  His book, Serial Composition and Atonality: an Introduction to the Music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, is recognized as the authoritative work in its field.  MONODY II was recorded in Karol Rathaus hall, Queens College, Flushing, New York; engineer was Jerry Bruck.

"The MONODY II FOR UNACCOMPANIED DOUBLE BASS was composed in 1962, especially for Mr. Turetzky.  It is one of a series of pieces for unaccompanied melodic instruments, a genre which has held a special interest for me for more than twenty years and which includes, in addition to MONODY II, many works for viola, clarinet, 'cello, violin, flute, and bassoon.  In his article, 'The music of George Perle,' Henry Weinberg (ACA Bulletin, September 1962) quotes these remarks of mine concerning these pieces: 'They are "freely" or "intuitively" conceived in a twelve-tone idiom that combines various serial procedures with melodically generated tone-centers, intervallic cells, symmetrical formations, etc.   A rhythmic concept, or rather ideal, toward which I progressed in these and several other works was that of a beat variable in duration but at the same time as tangible and coherent as the beat in classical music, and of an integration between the larger rhythmic dimensions and the minimal metric units.’  The MONODY II is additionally characterized by its extravagant exploitation of the technical resources of the instrument (various types of pizzicati and harmonics, changes of register, etc.)"

William Sydeman (b. 1928) was educated at the Mannes and Hartt colleges.  He has won the Pacifica Foundation competiion and has been the recipient of a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters as well as of a Wechsler commission (for the 1964 season at Tanglewood) and a commission from the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the 1964-65 season.  His music has been recently released on two CRI recordings (158 and 181) and the Louisville Orchestra is preparing his Orchestral Abstractions for recorded release.  FOR DOUBLE BASS ALONE was recorded, during a live performance by Mr. Turetzky, in Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford; engineer was Dr. Walter V. Corey.

"FOR DOUBLE BASS ALONE was written for Mr. Turetzky in 1957.  It is in three movements, two lyric ones framing a pizzicato movement.  The musical material is straightforward - my primary concern was the exploitation of the peculiarly ‘bas’ qualities of the instrument in the most sonorous way.  One innovation - at least for 1957 - is a pizzicato passage in octaves in the second movement."

Charles Whittenberg (b.1927) is a member of the theory faculty of New York’s Greenwich House Music School and an affiliate of the Electronic Music Center of Columbia and Princeton Universities, where the electronic portions of this recorded piece were realized with the technical assistance of Bülent Arel.  He is a member of American Composers Alliance; in 1963 and 1964 he was awarded Guggenheim fellowships.  The ELECTRONIC STUDY II was recorded in Sprague Hall, Yale University; engineer was Dr. Walter V Corey.

"The ELECTRONIC STUDY II WITH CONTRABASS (1962) was composed for Bertram Turetzky.  The electronic part of the work makes use of only mechanically generated sounds from sinusoidal oscillators, square wave generators, and "white noise" components.  Use of the electronic medium is, for me, purely a musical problem; these particular timbres, forms, and developments were necessary if my musical intention were to be realized   Set against this is the commentary f the contrabass, alternately opposing and re-enforcing the progress of the work.  There is no programmatic intent of any kind.  Only in the pianissimo conclusion is the total scheme made clear: the contrabass awaits the exhaustion of the final canonic mesh of synthesized sound in order to play, solo, the five notes that form the serial foundation of all that has been heard.  In this ‘moment of clearest serenity,’ as an American critic has called it, may be found the clue to the music’s motivation."

Production engineer:  Philip F. Dering II