Modern classical and avant garde concert music of the 20th and 21st centuries forms the primary focus of this blog. It is hoped that through the discussions a picture will emerge of modern music, its heritage, and what it means for us.
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Thursday, October 26, 2017
Ellen Nisbeth, Bengt Forsberg, Let Beauty Awake, Vaughan Williams, Clarke, Britten
This is not neo-romantic beauty so much as it is English, sometimes slightly rustic and slightly plaintive post-impressionist sturdiness.
Ralph Vaughan Williams starts things off with "Five Songs from 'Songs or Travel" (transcribed for viola and piano) and his "Romance for Viola and Piano."
Rebecca Clarke, a composer seemingly undergoing a pronounced resurgence, makes a splash with "Sonata for Viola and Piano," something a bit more formal and ambitious but equally evocative.
Benjamin Britten has the last say with his "Third Suite for Cello" transcribed for viola and wonderfully well done by Ms. Nisbeth. The final "Lachrymae for Viola and Piano" tops all off with completely striking affective fare.
Nisbeth has ravishing tonal breadth that runs from achingly sweet to dramatically dark. She is ever in control, phrasing like an angel or singing with rough passion. The five works on the recital disc seem especially made for the gamut of her lyric spectrum of expression. And there is a very Englishness to the works which reminds us why last century was such a fertile one for the region, filled with remarkable composing talents.
With the final notes we feel as if we have been transported to a rare musical place where lyric strength and fragility is given near ideal, long shrift. Nesbeth and Forsberg seem born to this music. And the selection of works hang together with a complete fittingness.
Remarkable music, remarkably played.
Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 5:53 AM
Labels: chamber gems from england, ellen nisbeth bengt forsberg let beauty awake vaughan williams clarke britten gapplegate classical-modern review, english 20th century lyrical strength for viola and piano
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