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Threshold and Visions

1977, orchestra (1,1,1,1, 2,1,2 2 perc, hp, org, pf, strings), Composer, 32', recorded on Folkways FTS 33452

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"Quite contemporary in structure, the work was uncommonly melodic, requiring and receiving - solo virtuosity from most of the orchestra members. While the prospect of fragmented "new music" is often intimidating to the untutored listener, Cope's work was both accessible and emotionally engaging for the audience. The work constantly stretched the musical possibilities available to the separate orchestra sections, but then combined the results with organic and dramatic continuity. The work was sharply focused and deftly combined new musical effects in a way which expanded and redefined the orchestra with Cope's score like the blood which unified its separate parts and gave them life."

--Rick Chatenever, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Dec. 1, 1978

"The high priest of new music, David Cope, has written vast quantities of articles on the subject and is well known for his very advanced theories. Threshold and Visions is a striking piece of modern music."

--Enos E. Shupp, Jr., The New Records, April, 1980

"Threshold and Visions is a very dramatic 5 movement work in a consistent and dissonant vocabulary. The movements each differ in mode, spirit and texture as well as tempo and to some degree instrumentation. Yet the work as a whole is consistent throughout. The texture is often lush and filled with little solos in the traditional sense. The piece is consistently contrapuntal with 'mikropolyphonic' clusters abounding. Throughout, however, is Cope's drama; there is never a dull moment."

--Jon Marshall, Composer Magazine, issues 19-20, 1980

"All the works brimmed with colorful orchestral treatments and emotional ups and downs. Cope came off the best...(it) encompassed exciting elemental motifs and the spirits of both the natural and the supernatural. Dramatically shifting colors and textures intensified the many mood changes. The string section imparted a delicate freshness to a hushed, dissonantly shimmering background. Instruments used in unusual ways created human and animal-like sighs, groans, squeaks and quacks. Primal drumming (carried out splendidly by timpanist Charles Dowd) raised excitement to high intensity."

--Phyllis Rosenblum, Pacific, September, 1989