Guided by Voices

BBC Music Magazine - - Instrument­al Reviews -

Godin: Guided by Voices;

Ueno: Chimera; Cec­cerelli:

With con­cord of sweet sounds;

LC Smith: Ricer­car; Mckin­ley: Cor­tile di Pi­lato*; Stre­ich: Min­erva Eli­nor Frey (cello), Mélisande Mc­n­ab­ney (harp­si­chord)*

Analekta AN 2 9162 75:09 mins

Pe­riod in­stru­ment ex­po­nents in­clud­ing harp­si­chordist Ma­han Es­fa­hani and viol con­sort Fret­work have proved more than amenable to en­larg­ing their reper­toire with con­tem­po­rary mu­sic. It’s not even a re­cent phe­nom­e­non if you count Wanda Landowska, who was mid­wife to harp­si­chord con­cer­tos by Poulenc and Falla. Doing her bit for the Baroque cello is Eli­nor Frey, who com­mits to disc six pieces com­mis­sioned by or for her­self.

And in taking charge of a new four-string Baroque cello to com­ple­ment her five-stringed in­stru­ment, she re­minds us that once upon a time, new mu­sic was rou­tinely played on new in­stru­ments.

She’s a fear­less, sleeves-rolled-up player who tack­les the disc’s ti­tle track with res­o­lute der­ring-do – the vis­ceral earth­i­ness of her five-string cello vividly ex­plored by Scott Ed­ward Godin in a work re­plete with ag­i­tated ques­tion­ing, febrile edgi­ness and feis­tily rus­tic apos­tro­phes. By way of con­trast, Isa­iah Cec­ca­relli’s ob­ses­sively res­o­nant With con­cord

of sweet sounds, com­mis­sioned for the same in­stru­ment, en­vi­sions it­self as a con­tinuo for an ab­sent slow melody. And bring­ing the harp­si­chord to the table, Maxime Mckin­ley’s Cor­tile di Pi­lato proves it­self to be a tren­chantly drawn evo­ca­tion of col­lid­ing time­lines, while Ken Ueno’s Chimera sub­mits a dream­like sense of re­mem­ber­ing to mi­cro­tonal teas­ing and more. Frey’s is a bold project, boldly despatched. Paul Ri­ley



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