Visions in Metaphor
Works by John Adams, Milton Babbit, Karel Husa, Pauline Oliberos, William Albright, Samuel Adler, Marylin Shrude, Bernard Rands, Philip Glass, Joan Tower

John Sampen, saxophone
Marilyn Shrude, piano


Albany Records TROY442


1. Jonh Adams: Postmark {Fearful Symmetries} 2:35
2. Milton Babbit: Accompanied Recitative 1:56
3. Karel Husa: Postcard from Home 3:05
4. Pauline Olliberos: Mirrorrim 2:44
5. William Albright: Postcard from Kansas: Welcome to Interstate-70 3:14
6. Samuel Adler: Pensive Soliloquy 5:25
7. Marylin Shrude: Continuum (Postscript ’97) 1:22
8. Bernard Rands: Memo 6 9:50
9. Marylin Shrude: Visions in Metaphor 6:32
10. Philip Glass: Façades 7:14
11. Joan Tower: Wings 9:35
12. Karel Husa: Elégie et Rondeau 8:27


Since the 1960s, the American composer has consistently rejected conformity; indeed the concept of free expression has led to intense creative experimentation and its divergent compositional lineage. This recording seeks to celebrate the eclectic American music of the recent past.

In 1994, John Sampen and Marilyn Shrude initiated a commissioning project designed to represent this diversity. Seven major American composers were invited to contribute “postcard pieces” highlighting their unique musical styles. The resulting collection, which comprises an interchangeable suite for saxophone and piano, demonstrates serialism, aleatory, improvisation, and a variety of other musical languages, styles and genres. Sampen and Shrude premiered the works by Babbitt and Oliveros at Michigan State University (1995), Husa’s composition in Taiwan (1997), and the remaining “postcards” at the 11’n World Saxophone Congress in Valencia, Spain (1997). In addition to the postcard pieces, this compact disc includes five works complimenting the musical and cultural melange of late 20’s Century America.

Internationally-recognized saxophonist John Sampen is dedicated to the promotion and performance of contemporary art music. His sponsorship of new music has resulted in premieres of over sixty works, including commissions by Rands, Subotnick, Cage, Adler and Babbitt. Sampen has also presented first performances of saxophone arrangements by Lutoslawski, Stockhausen and Tower.

John Sampen’s world-wide performances include concerts with the Nurnberg Symphony, the Biel Swiss Symphony, the Osaka Municipal Winds, the Toledo Symphony, the Orchestra Internazionale d’ltaly and the New Mexico Symphony. He has recorded with the Belgian and Swiss National Radio as well as the Capstone, CRI, Neuma and Orion labels. A clinician for the Selmer Company, Sampen has presented master classes at important universities and conservatories in Asia, Europe and North America. Dr. Sampen is presently Distinguished Artist Professor at Bowling Green State University and president of the North American Saxophone Alliance.

Award-winning composer/ pianist Marilyn Shrude is an active proponent of contemporary music in America. Her honors include the Kennedy Center Friedhem Awards for Orchestral Music, the Cleveland Arts Prize, Alverno College Alumna of the Year, and a recent Rockefeller Foundation residency in Italy. Shrude’s compositions are performed internationally in Prague’s Smetana Hall, Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, Brussels Town Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center.

Dr. Shrude is founder of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music and was director of the nationally-acclaimed BGSU New Music and Art Festival for 19 years. She served as chair of the Theory and Composition Department at Interlochen Arts Camp and was a visiting faculty member at Indiana University. She is currently professor and chair of the Musicology/Composition/ Theory Department at Bowling Green State University. Shrude has performed as collaborative pianist with John Sampen since 1972.

Façades was written in 1981 to be played by eyther two soprano saxphones or two flutes and strings. It was originallt intended for Koyaanisqatsi’s visual montage of Wall Street in NYC on a Sunday morning. Marilyn Shrude arranged this setting for solo soprano saxophone and piano.


© 2001 John Sampen




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