One at a Time

Released August 10, 2018

Ravello Records (RR7992)

One at a Time

Solo Instrumental Music

As the name implies, Anderson’s solo compositions act as milestones to the artist’s musical development through the intimacy of solo instruments.

As an instrumentalist early in his expansive career, Anderson found particular affection for live performance. In this album, you will hear the diversity of the composer’s inspiration amid its intense, physical element. The first track, appropriately named “…increasingly, physical…”, establishes tension with consistent building and release, creating captivating drama that draws the listener in immediately.

Various artists spanning the artistic timeline of Anderson’s career perform on ONE AT A TIME. Each track spotlights a different instrument, adding to Anderson’s compositional legacy.

“…increasingly, physical…” performed by Maureen Keenan, kicks off the album with her intense performance on the flute. The jazz-influenced composition is played with inescapable passion. Five Bagatelles and a Synopsis, on the other hand, is an exploration lead by pianist Jin-Ok Lee into a realm evoking free jazz sharing blurred lines with the avant-garde. Contrast that with “…springing, gradually…” which presents Debbie Schmidt and her French horn creating a grand orchestral sound that evokes nostalgia for the days of radio dramas.

Anderson’s ONE AT A TIME is nothing less than engaging. Listeners will be hanging on to every breath the musicians take. Performances are raw, emotionally arresting, and yet provide the perfect insight into the mind of a completely original and unique composition talent.


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Compositions Featured on this Album

  • “…increasingly, physical…”

    For flute. Premiered by Sato Moughalian. (1980)

  • “…mood, enough…”

    For viola. Premiered by Ina Litera. (2007)

  • “…procession, emerging…”

    For bassoon. Premiered by Donald Venezia. (1984)

  • “…springing, gradually…”

    For French horn. Premiered by Carolyn Clark. (1988)

  • “…vikings, unless…”

    For bass clarinet. Premiered by J. D. Parran. (2011)

  • Abe’s Rag

    For piano. (1981)

  • Five Bagatelles and a Synopsis

    For piano. Premiered by Anthony Weinstein. (1979)

  • Piece for Clarinet and Tape

    For clarinet with tape. Premiered by Douglas Anderson. (1975)

  • Wedding Music

    For trumpet. Premiered by Donald Anderson. (1994)

Notes from the Composer

This album contains works for solo instruments composed over the past 4 decades. Having worked as an instrumentalist prior to my conducting career, I have a special affection for live performance, especially solo work. The diversity of these works represents the differing times and purposes of their composition: some upon request by performers, some experiments in musical ideas, some in response to places and things, and even more practical use: music for my own wedding. The punctuated titles of some (beginning with the flute piece) represent my interest in how titles inform listeners in anticipation of the music.

The musical means employed in these works are often derived from the physical capabilities of the various instruments themselves: registral issues, timbral issues, performance issues, etc. The pitch combinations, necessarily mostly monophonic, are often drawn from the pitch characteristics of the instruments as well. Serialism, ordering, and tonal centers, combined with rhythmic propulsion and relaxation, lead these works into sometimes unexpected and revealing places. But the real pleasure for this composer has been to create works that are challenging to learn, fun to play, and engaging to listen to.

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