Eight Visions: A New Anthology for Flute and Pianoby Marya Martin
The eight works for flute and piano heard here were all commissioned anew by New Zealand-born American flutist Marya Martin. Individual listeners may have their own preferences about individual pieces, but will likely find a satisfying wholeness to the program that may well relate to its unified point of origin. None of the music involves extended technique on the flute; nor does any, except for a fairly subtle recorded track of the composer's own altered voice in Eve Beglarian's "I will not be sad in this world," feature electronics. None of the music is particularly radical in conception, and none, with the possible exception of Paul Moravec's impressionistic "Nancye's Song," could be called neo-anything. Within its focused parameters, the music is delightfully diverse. This is partly due to its representation of the American ethnic mosaic; the "Three Bagatelles from China West" by Chinese-American composer Chen Yi use Chinese melodies in intriguing ways, sometimes as structural markers rather than as a source of basic melodic material, and Beglarian's piece is based on a traditional Armenian song. There are attractive and unexpected finds from non-ethnic lines of thinking, as well. Kenji Bunch's "Velocity" is a little homage to the so-called Mannheim Rocket figure of the 18th century, and it is inspiring to witness the ongoing creativity of the octogenarian Ned Rorem, whose booklet description of his "Four Prayers" is almost comically uncommunicative, but who juxtaposes his usual French-inspired idiom with sparser movements in a way that suggests a spiritual dimension. This work plays nicely off of the preceding work, the very minimal "Trace" of Hong Kong-born Melissa Hui. One may be less convinced by David Sanford's "Klatka Still" (try to guess the inspirations for the work before reading the English-only booklet), or for that matter by any of the works praised here, but, with fine engineering at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, this release demonstrates an exemplary relationship between performer and composer(s).
- Release Date:
- Naxos American
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