Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Heidi Jacob, Beneath Winter Light

As those in the northern hemisphere experience the ebb of nature we contemplate a collection of the works of Heidi Jacob (b 1953) entitled aptly Beneath Winter Light (Navona 5985). She is a dramatic exponent of music that at times plays on the edges of tonality in a sort of post-Bergsian way, which is to say that her music is modern-expressive without quite being neo-romantic.

We are treated to five of her works. The "Winter Light" duo for violin and piano and the "String Quartet I 'on enameled tablets,'" written in 2012 and 2009, respectively, both have a sort of mournful somberness, at least to my ears, and highly expressive string parts. The first work was inspired by the Bergman film "In Winter Light." The string quartet draws from the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz without attempting a literal representation of the verbal images expressed.

"Regard a Schubert: A Fantasy Impromptu" (2008) creates a tone parallel to Schubert utilizing harmonized and unharmonized lines in an ambiguous way to create a powerfully poetic work for solo piano.

"Fantasy" for piano (2005) was inspired by the structure and freedom of C.P.E. Bach's piano fantasies and also Milosz's poem "Tidings." Texture, gesture and lyricism are the prime concerns according to Ms. Jacob. It like the preceding work has a very pianistic sense and once more a flair for the dramatic in shifts of mood and density.

"Salome Revisited" (2006) for electroacoustic tape concludes the program. Richard Strauss's "Salome" provides the source materials for this work. The soundscape created haunts in a very musical way. It is more about transformed tone than noise and so readily fits into this anthology of works.

Pianist Charles Abramovic, violinist Barbara Govatos, and the Momenta String Quartet give us performances very worthy of the music. Heidi Jacob is a composer whose music very much bears hearing. She is a true artist. I hope to hear more of her work. Very recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment