I would like to begin by dedicating this new CD, Paul Fried Wails -- to the memory of America's flute legend, Julius Baker, the most important influence I had in all my years of studying the flute. Baker simply put, was the greatest flutist I have ever heard.
All my life it seems that there have been two questions I am asked ---" Is it pronounced flutist or flautist "?? LOL and the other is -" have you composed anything "? The answer was always - In the US its flutist -- in Europe its flautist -- The composing question had always been no until fairly recently. I sort of got into composing via the Finale Program -- which is fantastic -- Once I got the hang of it -- I began to really enjoy the freedom of putting my thoughts and music, down on paper. I hope that flutists and others will enjoy these works.
The 19 caprices are all composed in a variety of styles. The first work, Cry of the Mountain can be played for flute alone or as it is in the recording with a tympani heart beat. I was imagining the changes the mountain had looked out over in the last 400 years. The 2nd work is my homage to Debussy, Ravel, and the French school. In Les Nuages I composed it, and later realized it needed more music and added a new beginning to the work. It is supposed to be a day with a brooding, cloudy - veiled - beginning, and a brilliant ending.
The CD includes 5 duets. The first is the Almost Baroque duet with the Bobby Shulgold and I . There are 4 other duets most of which include alto flute which I am playing, overdubbed. These duets - again vary in style -- The Broken Clock for flute and alto flute seems somehow a bit off and going in different directions. It also has a sour ending -- and thus the Broken Clock name - The Cradle Song is exactly that - sweetness and sweet dreams -- for 2 alto flutes - Aftermath is a sort of scary work for two alto flutes and paints a bleak portrait of our world. The alto flutes in the upper range of the instrument give a desperate feel to the music. The last duet, Antiphonal Flutes is a fun romp with a sort of Slavic middle section, and with a virtuosic ending.
I love listening to Utube and heard a wonderful work, The Little Bell Kolokolchic, for soloist and choir. It is a beautiful - famous and haunting Russian Folk Song composed by Alexander Gurilev. I immediately fell in love with the haunting melody, and wanted to arrange if for flute choir. In this performance I am playing all the flutes -- bass flute - alto flute - 2 C flutes - and piccolo. To me, this work is like a warm cozy blanket of flutes.
The final work on the Paul Fried Wails is the Wind Quintet Klezmer Style. I had been going online and hearing some of the great Klezmer playing that is going on these days. I begin to think of something I could compose and dedicate to one of my very best friends - Franklin Cohen, my former room mate at Juilliard :)) Frank is a fantastic player, and has been the Principal Clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra for over 30 years.
I wanted to incorporate Jewish themes beginning with Zoom Goli Goli Goli in movement 1. which has a counter melody and the Klezmer Clarinet riding above in a sort of crazy " Star Wars Bar" like part with the drone like accompaniment. Movement 3 ends with a Hava Nagila and a surprise ending. This recording features Josh Ranz -- Solo Clarinet of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra - as well as Paul Fried - Flute - Francisco Castillo Oboe - Carolyn Beck - Bassoon - and Brian O'Connor - Horn.