Fanatical Dances (1992)
by Andrew Rindfleisch
Performed by Zeitgeist
Fanatical Dances is so supple and free that a listener might first think that these dances are entirely improvised. However, as the piece progresses, the textural continuity of the music makes the sort of stop-on-a-dime twists, turns, and tumbles, that only pre-composed music can manage, and the harmonic and timbral relations between large sections are such that the framework of the compositional design gradually becomes clear. Rindfleisch, who conducted the performance on this recording, tells us that “there are improvisational moments in Fanatical Dances, but they are really composed into it, a composed piece that breaks down notationally into improvisation at certain moments in the piece and then is composed out of the improvisation…” He goes on to say by example that in some places he has notated register and rhythm but not pitch, and in others, contour but not rhythm.
Composer Andrew Rindfleisch (b. 1963) has enjoyed a career in music that has also included professional activity as a conductor, pianist, vocalist, improviser, record producer, radio show host, educator, and concert organizer. As a composer, he has produced dozens of works for the concert hall, including solo, chamber, vocal, orchestral, brass, and wind music, as well as an unusually large catalog of choral music. His committed interest in other forms of music-making has also led him to the composition and performance of jazz and related forms of improvisation.
Mr. Rindfleisch is the recipient of the Rome Prize, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Aaron Copland Award, and the Koussevitzky Foundation Fellowship from the Library of Congress. Over forty other prizes and awards have followed honoring his music. He has participated in dozens of renowned music festivals and has received residency fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), the Czech-American Institute in Prague, the Charles Ives Center for American Music, the June in Buffalo Contemporary Music Festival, the MacDowell Colony, and the Pierre Boulez Conductor’s Workshop at Carnegie Hall. He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (Bachelor of Music), the New England Conservatory of Music (Master of Music), and Harvard University (PhD).
As a conductor and producer, Mr. Rindfleisch’s commitment to contemporary music culture has brought into performance and recording over 500 works by living composers over the past 20 years. He has founded several contemporary music ensembles and currently heads the Cleveland Contemporary Players Artist in Residency Series at Cleveland State University, and the Vertigo Ensemble at the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City. He has made guest conducting appearances throughout the United States and abroad with many diverse musical organizations; from opera and musical theatre, to orchestral, jazz, improvisational, and contemporary avant-garde ensembles.