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American Record Guide, October 2006

The Pittsburgh composer David Stock (b 1939) is the subject of this installment of the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. In a departure of sorts from the Archive's usual formula, the program contains no liturgical music, unless you count the insertion of the Ashkenazi tunes for Avinu Malkenu and Oseh Shalom into Y'rusha, a clarinet concerto. The last three pieces are purely orchestral, and the first, A Little Miracle, is a solo cantata for mezzo and orchestra. (In keeping with the Milken formula, the cantata is on Holocaust themes.)

Stock's preternaturally youthful music is simple and accessible without pandering too much to its audience; this is the sort of music I'd feel good about giving to my less musically sophisticated relatives, who would get all the musical references and maybe even be able to talk about the clear, neoclassical structures. As a composer, Stock has the clarity (but not the austerity) of a latter-day minimalist like Part and Adams together, and the heart of a Joe Sixpackstein; there's no fancy stuff, no hamhanded sophistication and pretentions, to get in the way of the music's simple expression.

Texts and excellent, extensive notes are included.

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