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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thomas Larcher, What Becomes, Tamara Stefanovich, Mark Padmore and Thomas Larcher

Contemporary composer Thomas Larcher comes through with some fascinating music on What Becomes (Harmonia Mundi 907604). He has some similarities in his music at times with Satie, Crumb and Part, yet there is much more to it as well. Chord progressions recur or develop into something else, there is structure and dynamics, contemplation and eventful excitement, the sure hand and inventive ideas of a sound poet of consequence.

Essentially there are three cycles for solo piano, played with passion and precision by Tamara Stefanovich. They are "Dust I-II", "Poems I-XII", and "What Becomes I-VII", all in turns restful or very dynamic, sometimes both. The final segment is a song suite "A Padmore Cycle I-XI" with Mark Padmore singing and the composer on piano.

There is a consistency of style, rather ambiant, throughout this body of works. The performances seem exceptionally right and the music comes to you in ways that seem modern yet in a way timeless.

It surely makes me want to hear more of this composer. Thomas Larcher has a real brilliance for devising works of great sonance, created with disarmingly simple means yet far from simple in impact. The music stays with you long after you have heard it. Bravo!

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