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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hilary Tann, Musical Landscapes

Some music lately has taken an unabashed turn to tonal beauty. That is true of the music of Hilary Tann, as heard in chamber works on Musical Landscapes (Centaur 3357). On it we experience eight short to mid-length works written by Ms. Tann between 1984 and 2012. The works are for configurations of violin, cello and piano, alone and in various groupings.

The works sometimes refer backwards to earlier styles, from Gregorian Chant onwards, but nevertheless the musical syntax has the stamp of Hilary Tann on it throughout. Perhaps post-romantic radical tonality might be a way of thinking of the music. There is a "beyond" quality that speaks to our own times in an original way. Pianists Eunmi Ko and Albert Kim, violinist Sini Virtanen and cellist Andrew Barnhart bring out the expressive eloquence of the music with care and heartful feeling.

There is an introspective restraint at times that puts the listener in a sort of dream landscape very pleasant to experience. But the music has underlying sinew and substance.

I am captivated by the program and recommended it to you who seek new avenues in tonality today. It charms consistently without pandering in the slightest. New age it isn't. Our age it is.

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