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Friday, January 20, 2012

Craig Madden Morris, "Dreams:" Modern Chamber Music

There are times when music may not be ultra-advanced catagorically yet be so captivating that one doesn't care. The composer Craig Madden Morris and his chamber music on the album Dreams (Ravello 7813) gives us such a time.

There is lyricism, formal heft, the beautifully played parts (for example Christine Kwak's violin performances are quite lovely) and an idiomatic craftsmanship/inspiration that makes it all a joy to hear.

The piano reduction version of Morris' "Violin Concerto" is a perfect example of this. A ravishing violin presence, an intimate, harmonically early modern-later romantic context played sensitively by Eduard Laurel on piano, all facets come together for a work that brings beauty into your world, one note at a time.

The same is true of the other works presented here: solo piano on "Dream Songs" and "Tropical Dances," cello and piano on "Cello Rhapsody." All serve to map out Morris's most definite stylistic parameters, and all bring a timelessness into play that does not always apply to those working along more-or-less traditional lines. I would love to hear the orchestral versions of the several piano reductions but for now this is something to appreciate repeatedly and happily.

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