mce - minnesota contemporary ensemble
The Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble started out in 1992. Their fifth anniversary was celebrated with a cd: "180° From Ordinary", a selection of highlights and special moments. It includes a registration of Frank Zappa's 'The Black Page', a piece that they had performed live at the Walker Art Center.
|minnesota contemporary ensemble: 180° from ordinary
(1997, cd, usa, innova records innova 513) – incl. ‘the black page’ (frank zappa)
the big nOte files
the minnesota contemporary ensemble started out in 1992. their fifth anniversary was celebrated with a cd: "180° from ordinary", a selection of highlights and special moments. i am not too familiar with most of the composers that are present on this album (it's a pity that the booklet does not include biographical info), but that's about the only remark i can think of. this is a very impressive album: it sounds very fresh, very versatile. besides work by astor piazzolla, paul siskind, libby larsen, sofia gubaidulina, allen gleck and tom trenka, the mce also performs frank zappa's 'black page' (percussion & piano). the track was recorded live at the famous walker art center and sounds absolutely great.
-- peter van laarhoven
email@example.com (John Henley)
The Fine Arts Library here at the U of Texas, where I work, has just added to its collection a CD of which I was completely unaware until five minutes ago.
Chamber compositions by Astor Piazzola, Paul Siskind, Libby Larsen, Sofia Gubaidulina, Allen Gleck, Tom Trinka, and FZ. Looks like an interesting variety of instrumentation: string quartet, strings & percussion, string/wind/piano octet, and like that.
The FZ piece is: The Black Page "for percussion and piano."
The MCE disc is very good, but unfortunately "Black Page" is the least satisfactory track - because the performance is ragged and the recording (live) is unbalanced between the drums & piano.
180º From Ordinary: Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble
At last, the eagerly-awaited debut release from the gritty
Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble (MCE), known for the energy and vitality of
their live performances. 180º from Ordinary features concert recordings made
during the first four years of MCE's existence. It includes not only Frank
Zappa's The Black Page and Astor Piazzola's Four, for Tango, but also the world
premiere recordings of Black Roller by Libby Larsen, Rituale by Paul Siskind,
Two Trumpets by Allen Gleck, and watch...wait by Tom Trenka, recipient of the
1997 American Composers Forum Composers Commissioning Program.
Founded in 1993, MCE has quickly become recognized as one
of the nation's leading new music ensembles. In past projects, MCE has
collaborated with John Harbison, Libby Larsen, David Soldier, Lou Harrison, and
Zeitgeist. Under Artistic Director Duane Schulthess, the ensemble has performed
tours and concerts around the country to critical and public acclaim.
"Experiments extraordinaire...one of the country's
leading advocates of the new in music." - Dallas Morning News
"High voltage modern music...no bunny slope jaunt,
even sometimes unnerving, but these guys don't shirk the tough stuff." -
Twin Cities Reader
"This young modern music group digs the edgy,
abstract." - Minneapolis City Pages
See also: http://www.composersforum.org/noframe/innova/mncontemp.html
Marc De Bruyn (firstname.lastname@example.org)