Jorge Liderman: Song of Songs
Jorge Liderman's stunningly beautiful setting of "The Song of Songs" is a dramatic cantata that treats the joyous Old Testament tale of the sexual awakening of a young woman and her lover with music of great physicality and almost primitive rhythmic energy. Scored for vocal soloists, female chorus and chamber orchestra, Liderman divides the instrumental ensemble into three groups: a pulsing and percussive pair of marimbas and pair of pianos, a lush group of pairs of clarinets, violas and French horns, and a more mixed ensemble of flute, oboe, trumpet, violin and contrabass. These layered ensembles give the work a sense of being simultaneously transparent and complex. As the Shulamite, soprano Elissa Johnston gives an impassioned reading, and conductor David Milnes leads a performance that is both detailed and radiant. Born in Buenos Aires in 1957, Jorge Liderman began his musical studies in Jerusalem, under Mark Kopitman, later studying with Ralph Shapey and Shulamit Ran. He then went on to join the composition faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he still teaches. Liderman has been commissioned and performed by the London Sinfonietta, the American Composers Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Radio France, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and numerous other organizations and soloists. His first CD on Bridge, "Waking Dances", includes works for guitar and ensemble, featuring guitarist David Tanenbaum (BRIDGE 9150).
Elissa Johnston, soprano
Charles Blandy, tenor
Chamber Chorus of the University of California at Berkeley
Marika Kuzma, directorSan Francisco Contemporary Music Players
David Milnes, conductor