Friday, September 23, 2016
Sima Wolf, En Prevision and Other Works
Her music has a lyrical post-impressionist flavor. She studied composition with Terry Riley and John Corigliano and branches off onto her own path in the works heard here. The pieces are well-scored for the instrumentation at hand. They fall into the tonal realm without sounding romantic or neo-classical, more pastoral and folk-like I suppose one could say.
"En Prevision" starts off the program. The title translates into "in anticipation, in readiness" and focuses on a mellifluous combination of harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet. Continuing with a charm and ambiance is her "Woodwind Quintet No. 1: The Chambers of Hemera," written for the Greek Goddess of Daytime as the representative of beauty and the appreciation of all the life that surrounds us.
Two short works follow: "Island" and "Birds of a Feather" for string quartet concentrate respectively on string sonorities and variations on a popular song. I must admit as to the latter that I am stumped but the music itself speaks eloquently regardless.
The sonic environment shifts with "Awakening" for solo flute and then "Nocturnal Landscapes" for solo piano. Each creates a mood of exploration and a delightful tonal panorama.
The finale "Brazilian Suite" for flute, harp and percussion is based on Brazilian forms--the chora, a sort of bossa nova and Afro-Brazilian roots. The music is rather irresistible and so we end an engaging and enchanting program with some heightening rhythmic flourishes.
I find the entire album extremely well put together and with a positive beauty and appreciation of nuance that give us hopeful and embracing images in sound.
It is the sort of music that should appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners for its lyric gentleness. Bravo Sima Wolf!