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HARRISON: “LO KORO SUTRO,” “VARIED TRIO,” SUITE...

HARRISON: “LO KORO SUTRO,” “VARIED TRIO,” SUITE FOR VIOLIN AND AMERICAN GAMELAN. David Abel, violin; Julie Steinberg, piano; William Winant, percussion; UC Berkeley Chorus conducted by Philip Brett; American Gamelan conducted by John Bergamo. New Albion NA-015 (compact disc). This survey of 15 years in the career of Northern California’s musical patriarch concentrates on the mingling of European forms and Asian modes and instrumentation. The Buddhist source and Esperanto text of “Lo Koro Sutro” (1972) arrestingly mingle a 100-member chorus and gamelan for a ritualistic paean to divine wisdom. The trio (1986) culls serenely beautiful sonorities from violin, piano and an exotic percussion battery, including rice bowls and baker’s pans. The 1973 suite extends that scheme to even more riveting ends. Harrison’s seminal position in American music has rarely been so eloquently stated. The performances are never less than definitive; the digital sound from this enterprising San Francisco company is splendid.


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