Sunday, January 19, 2003


Album: 'Symbiosis'
Composer: Thomas Lee, Gunther Schuller
Performer: Frederic T. Cohen, Robert Annis, et al.
Label: GM Recording GM2007
Released: 1 September, 2002
CD: 1 disc

'Symbiosis' is a stimulating collection of occasional instrumental pieces by Thomas Oboe Lee and Gunther Schuller. Lee’s ‘Mad Frog’ for oboe, bass clarinet and harp is especially diverting and intriguing. The Kronos Quartet give a strong performance of the same composer’s Third String Quartet, 'Child of Uranus, Father of Zeus'. The Schuller contribution is the atmospheric chamber work for violin, percussion and piano from which the whole collection takes its name. American composed music continues to be a vibrant source of new delights often hidden from European ears. Schuller’s is a relatively well-known name, Lee's less so. He is from China via Brazil and studied under Schuller and George Russell among others. He has been influenced by the Lydian chromatic concept of tonal organisation. If you like variety, colour and challenging a/tonality in your music you will not be disappointed. If you pop into Lee's website (see link above) you can win a CDR of his music, too...

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