recordings - ariadne's lament 

   available from:
New World Records
481 Eighth Avenue, #835
New York, NY 10001
Tel 212-290-1680
Fax 212-290-1685



For the complete liner notes that accompany this cd, click here.


To her credit, Leach offers a spiritual recharge without the banalities of the new mysticism.
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

    Click for complete Liner NotesMary Jane Leach explores the physicality of sound, working very carefully with the timbres of instruments, creating combination, difference, and interference tones. The use of sound phenomena, however, is only a means to an end, the ultimate goal being musicality.

   Early music, with its imitative polyphony and modal harmonies, is the primary source of inspiration for the compositions on this disc, four of which are part of an ongoing project focusing on the myth of Ariande--"Ariadne's Lament" (for a capella women's chorus), "Song of Sorrows" (for mixed choir), "O Magna Vasti Creta" (for women's chorus and string quartet) and "Call of the Dance" (for soprano soloist and women's chorus). Three of the pieces draw their material directly from Renaissance works: "Ariadne's Lament" and "Song of Sorrows" from Monteverdi's "Lamento d'Arianna", and "Tricky Pan" (for solo countertenor and taped tenor/countertenor) from "Tres Gentil Cuer" by the 14th century composer Solage. The languages Leach sets--Italian, early French, ancient Greek, Latin, and Cretan--also evoke a sense of connection to a remote past.

   In contrast to most of her contemporaries, Leach's music is from the aesthetic which favors prolongation, resonance, long statements of subtly varied persistence. In that sense, her music is both easy to follow and mellifluously unpredictable. She has a careful ear for pacing and structural unfolding, often building her pieces to ardent expressive arrivals. Past and present meld in a music of ethereal and limpid beauty.