In the course of his 26 years at Washington State University, Lothar Kreck, who retired in 1997, served as director of Hotel and Restaurant Administration (1971-79) and was the program’s first Ivar B. Haglund Distinguished Professor. He also pursued an avocation as a composer and performer, playing viola in orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. Sonata Concertante for Cello and Piano and other works presents seven of his compositions.

Although he began writing music in 1953, the earliest piece on this CD dates from 1985. The disc includes performances by WSU piano faculty Susan Chan, organist and pianist David Hatt, and the Maui Symphony. Three of the compositions, including the title piece, are performed on a MIDI computer.

A self-taught composer, Kreck employs a distinctly contemporary musical language that shifts freely between tonality and atonality. Often meditative, and sometimes brooding, this music spans an emotional range from the tenderness of the selection from China Suite to the controlled tension of “Soggetto,” the mystery of “Si Vis Me Flere,” and the assertiveness of “Adagio.”

Of the opening piece, Nimbus Moments, pianist David Hatt has written, “[It] uses marvelous and sometimes quite complicated keyboard figurations in a pastiche format. It is very much a performer’s piece…”

Lothar Kreck