And Five Quartets | Invisible Borders | When the Air Moves..


Meyer Kupferman, composer


Soundspells Productions

Engineering Credits

Mastered by Jeremy Tressler at Dreamflower Acoustic

Highlights / Reviews

“This is one of the most attractive in the long series of recordings from Soundspells, where every work included shows the composer at his considerable best. Performances and recording are excellent. Recommended.”

–John Story, FANFARE

Meyer Kupferman died in November of 2003 at the age of seventy-seven. Volume XVII of the orchestral music, presents two orchestral pieces from his final year, Invisible Borders and When the Air Moves . . ., with a work for five string quartets from 1986, And Five Quartets. Invisible Borders is a set of four tone poems running about 25 minutes. No program is specified, and they form a sort of symphony in the movement sequence slow-fast-slow-fast. This is Kupferman at his late romantic best. Falling somewhere between his tonal and atonal manners, it is a big, powerful orchestral work and is played to the hilt by the excellent Czech National Symphony Orchestra under Kupferman’s late champion, Paul Freeman. While the two works may have onlyproximity in time to connect them, When the Air Moves . . . has much the same feel about it as if the contents of Invisible Borders had been compressed into a work of about half the length. Again, it is one of Kupferman’s best pieces.

The earlier work for five string quartets is conceived spatially, with the five ensembles separated as widely as possible under a mobile conductor. Unlike similar works by Carter and Stockhausen, the music is tonal and the five ensembles all share the same material. Essentially, the rearrangement of the seating produces sound ricocheting from one side to another somewhat in the manner of the prescribed seating for Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste. Again, perhaps because of the novelty of his ensemble (four regular string quartets and a fifth made up of paired violins and double basses), Kupferman writes in his tightest, most attractive manner.