(2007) Albany Troy 921
Susan Narucki, soprano
Ross Bauer attended New England Conservatory and Brandeis, studying with John Heiss, Martin Boykan, Arthur Berger and Luciano Berio. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Fromm Foundation commissions and a Koussevitzky commission. Bauer is a master composer of deeply expressive, highly charged music in a wide variety of genres. Throughout his works, whether they are orchestral, concerti with orchestra or chamber ensemble, or vocal or chamber music, his sense of form and instrumental writing is exquisitely idiomatic and his orchestration crystal clear and dazzling in its color. His vocal writing is particularly beautiful. He pays close attention to the meaning and sound of the texts that he sets, as well as to the formal implications of those texts. This CD, featuring music written in the 1990's for voice with instruments and for instruments alone, makes an excellent introduction to Ross Bauer's work, which traverses a wide range from tender lyricism to tremendous ferocity. Bauer writes true chamber music in which every part is an essential element of an unfolding line and harmony. While the surface relationships may seem complex, the underlying harmony is always clear, and the pacing of that harmony masterful.