The variety of instrumental configurations makes for dramatic contrasts and highly listenable fare. The part writing unwinds with perfect sense; each work holds its own with a tightly compressed economy of means, less Webernian pointillism than through simultaneity and parallel expression, jagged togetherness if you will.
Each piece is a microcosm of Malskian form in motion. From the opening "Archipelago of Regrets" (2012) for piano trio, to the stark but dense "-42.489 108.756 (Elegy)" for two violas (2011) and "Escaping the Delta" (2005) for flute and cello, a terse expressionism prevails.
"Same River Twice" (2008/2013) for wind quintet and "Subtending the Right Angle" (1999/2013) for eight-instrument chamber ensemble conclude the program with larger forces and consequently a more projecting sound imprint.
All the pieces work together to give us a substantial impression. The performances are dedicated, expressive and precise. They convey very well the distinctive contemporary modernism that is Matthew Malsky. Very much recommended for the enthusiast of high modernism today.
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