Bourland chamber music: Cantilena (1981)

August 30, 2009

Cantilena (1981) mp3
Music: Roger Bourland
Publisher: ECS Publishing
Performers: Tom Harmon, organ; Gary Gray, clarinet

Cantilena was commissioned for the first season of the award-winning Los Angeles chamber music ensemble, Pacific Serenades. The premiere was in the home of Leland Burns. This work was originally written for flutist, composer, and director of PacSer, Mark Carlson. Alden Ashforth had advised me to compose long lines for Mark as “…he plays as though he were a violinist.”

The performance here is one by Gary Gray, professor of clarinet at UCLA, and Thomas Harmon playing organ (Tom also played the premiere with Mark), both good friends.

This little piece has please quite a few, but it has annoyed some as well. I put it on a Composers in Red Sneakers concert in Boston and it stuck out like a sore thumb — wrong venue, even though that performance featured a soprano sax. The Boston Globe called the piece “treacle.” Hmmm.


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