By the late 1920s, before composing her landmark String Quartet 1931, Ruth Crawford had already found a strong and individual voice as an American modernist. This edition presents two important unpublished compositions from that period: Music for Small Orchestra (1926) and Suite No. 2 for Four Strings and Piano (1929). The style of these works, dubbed "post tonal pluralism," shows Crawford handling tonality as an option rather that a given and responding originally to a wide range of musical, literary, and intellectual currents—including the music of Scriabin, Cowell, Rudhyar, and Ruggles, the poetry of Carl Sandburg, and the religious-philosophical movement known as theosophy. Winner of the MPA Paul Revere Award, 1994.
David Nicholls, Notes, December 1996; John Beckwith, American Music, Spring 1996; J. Peter Burkholder, I.S.A.M. Newsletter, Spring 1995