David Lang's The Passing Measures is a signal piece of latter-day minimalism, in that it recalls the painterly soundscapes of Morton Feldman more than it does the more recent, motoric Romanticism of P

David Lang's The Passing Measures is a signal piece of latter-day minimalism, in that it recalls the painterly soundscapes of Morton Feldman more than it does the more recent, motoric Romanticism of Philip Glass or the technophile austerities of Steve Reich. A co-founder of edgy New York collective Bang on a Can, Lang has created a moody, moving 43-minute experience, scored for bass clarinet, amplified orchestra, and women's chorus. Based on a single euphonious chord, The Passing Measures succeeds in the best minimalist tradition—in which the merest modulation over a long span sets off a musical/emotional epiphany (and it's that tension and release that separates it from being new age). With its pellucid ambience, the production belies that the recording stems from a single live performance. This is the second offering from Bang on a Can's young Cantaloupe label, which is distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi.—BB

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