Riley: Palmian Chord Ryddle, Royal Majestic / Guerrero, Nashville Symphony

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Terry Riley’s name will always be associated with his breakthrough work In C, but his influence on modern music has stretched far beyond minimalism. Both of the works on this recording reveal Riley’s spirit of exploration and his close collaboration with remarkable musicians. Commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, The Palmian Chord Ryddle is a kind of musical autobiography in which electric violin pioneer Tracy Silverman’s “one-man string quartet” sets the pace for the sparse, translucent orchestration. At The Royal Majestic is another recent example of Riley’s work with a symphony orchestra and a virtuosic soloist, in this case organist Todd Wilson. Its title refers to “the mighty Wurlitzer housed in grand movie palaces,” and the music draws on a wide variety of genres including gospel, ragtime, Baroque chorales, and boogie.


The late career of Terry Riley has received less attention than that of Philip Glass or even Steve Reich. The resurgent Nashville Symphony under Giancarlo Guerrero makes a good case here that such neglect is misguided. The Palmian Chord Ryddle (2011) is an eclectic, playful eight-movement work for electric violin and orchestra, but steering mostly clear of highly extended techniques. Even stronger is At The Royal Majestic, an homage to the golden age of the theater organ. Engineering kudos for clarity in an extremely diverse set of materials. Highly recommended.

– All Music Guide (James Manheim)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 10, 2017

  • Catalog Number: 8559739

  • UPC: 636943973929

  • Label: Naxos

  • Period: Contemporary

  • Composer: Terry Riley

  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Todd Wilson, Tracy Silverman


  1. The Palmian Chord Ryddle

    Composer: Terry Riley

    Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Tracy Silverman (Electric Violin)

    Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero

  2. At the Royal Majestic

    Composer: Terry Riley

    Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Todd Wilson (Organ)

    Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero