Pasa Tem­pos

Mu­sic by Her­mann Goetz and Fred­die Gibbs

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

HER­MANN GOETZ Pi­ano Quar­tet and Quin­tet ( TYXart) Some­where in the in­ter­sec­tion of Schu­mann, Brahms, and Dvorákˇ falls the mu­sic of the Ger­man com­poser Her­mann Goetz, who might be bet­ter known in pos­ter­ity if he had not died of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis four days short of his thirty-sixth birth­day. Brahms ad­mired his works so much that he rec­om­mended them to his own pub­lisher. Goetz’s mar­velous op­er­atic set­ting of The Tam­ing of the Shrew ( Der wider­spen­sti­gen Zäh­mung) re­mained a sta­ple of Ger­man opera houses for decades, though it is rarely re­vived to­day, and his 24 pub­lished works of cham­ber mu­sic are al­most never per­formed. It’s a pity. The Pi­ano Quar­tet in E-f lat ma­jor (from 1867, and ded­i­cated to Brahms) may be his in­stru­men­tal mas­ter­piece, by turns dreamy à la Schu­mann, jovial à la Dvoˇrák, or gen­er­ously warm­hearted à la Brahms, though not ri­val­ing that com­poser’s philo­soph­i­cal depth, even if some pas­sages come close. The Pi­ano Quin­tet in C mi­nor (from 1874, two years be­fore Goetz died) is gen­er­ally more an­guished, touch­ing on pas­sion­ate out­pour­ings that pre­fig­ure Franck in t he open­ing move­ment, t hough with­out t he Wag­ne­r­ian in­flu­ence. Its in­stru­men­ta­tion is that of Schu­bert’s Trout Quin­tet — vi­olin, vi­ola, cello, dou­ble bass, and pi­ano, played re­spec­tively by Ma­rina Chiche, Pei­jun Xu, Nik­las Sch­midt, Matthias Beltinger, and Oliver Triendl. This in­ter­na­tional as­sem­blage of­fers a care­fully at­ten­tive, but none­the­less ex­cit­ing, read­ing of two works that cham­ber mu­sic afi­ciona­dos should read­ily em­brace. — James M. Keller

FRED­DIE GIBBS Shadow of a Doubt (ESGN) In 2014, rap­per Fred­die Gibbs joined forces with pro­ducer Madlib and is­sued Piñata, a co­he­sive mu­si­cal state­ment in the form of an in­tro­spec­tive look at life as a drug dealer, set to mu­sic that was tight and funky. His fol­low-up, Shadow of a Doubt, is a bit looser as if he’s feel­ing out new sounds and ap­proaches. On “Nar­cos,” he lay­ers his voice atop it­self, melt­ing the tracks to­gether into a melodic mum­ble atop a mi­nor-key loop. “Care­less” brings the vo­cals higher in the mix and leans on a stronger melody, with Gibbs rap­ping in a bold, singsong f low. Gibbs is gifted with one of the most orig­i­nal voices in con­tem­po­rary hip-hop — pre­cise and f ull of swag­ger, yet also con­tain­ing an easy swing t hat r ecall s ja zz s a xo­phone. This has ear ned him re spect t hrough­out t he i ndus­try, and the string of ex­cel­lent guests to ap­pear on his records con­tin­ues here with the Roots’ Black Thought lend­ing an ex­cel­lent, so­cially con­scious verse to t he smooth “Ex­tra­dite.” Shadow of a Doubt runs a bit long (a com­mon is­sue with mod­ern rap), but it’s an­other st r ong ef f or t f r om Gibbs. — Robert Ker

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