Dr. Tower is a well-known American composer and a performing pianist. Her thoughtful music is always filled with interesting melodies and tinged with just enough modernistic dissonance to add interest. I first discovered her music on the Sharon Isbin (classical guitarist)album Nightshade Rounds, where the composition Clocks appeared. Fascinating music, listen to it if you can.
Since as of this writing Amazon has not listed the tracks, I will:
1. In Memory (string quartet)
2. Big Sky (violin, cello & piano)
3. Wild Purple (solo viola)
4. Holding a Daisy (solo piano)
5. Or Like a...an Engine (solo piano)
6. Vast Antique Cubes (solo piano)
7. Throbbing Still (solo piano)
8. Island Prelude (oboe & string quartet)
In Memory is a poignant piece about grief and death, inspired by the loss of a close friend and the 9/11 victims. The one movement piece is string quartet writing at its finest. Big Sky, on which Ms. Tower plays piano, is every bit as deep and contemplative as In Memory as is the very beautiful Wild Purple whose themes make extended use of the viola's lowest string. The piano solos are filled with interesting sounds and vary greatly in mood. Island Prelude features an oboe weaving its way among the strings, and, like In Memory, it is performed by the famous Tokyo String Quartet. Also, like all of the string pieces on this recording, the tempo is andante or slower.
With a tremendous variety of instrumental combinations, this CD is a delight and one that I will enjoy many times. My only complaint is with Naxos who skimped on the quantity of music and gave us only 58:26 minutes of pleasure.