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Friday, November 5, 2021

Brett Deubner, Mother Earth, Music for Viola and Piano, with Allison Brewster Franzetti


The more time passes the more music evolves, it seems. Right now for example I've been getting an awful lot of music that is very lyrically and sometimes even ritually tonal, like maybe Satie and Arvo Part have more importance in our world than they used to--as an influence? Well here is another example of such things, another happy example. It features the very talented violist Brett Deubner in a program of lyrical works of today and just yesterday. He teams up nicely with pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti in a very sympathetic and able musical partnership. The album is called Mother Earth: Works for Viola and Piano (Navona NV6351).

Deubner and Franzetti have put together a program that includes a couple of Arvo Part staples in "Fratres" (1977) and "Spiegel Im Spiegel" (1978), perhaps not as the very best performances I've heard of these gems, but individual in their own way and quite nice. Then they give us a lot to consider with six more works quite recent, from 2007 through 2020. You may or may not recognize some of the composer's names, but the music will doubtless please you as it did me. So the duo richly comes forward with wonderful readings of music by Polina Nazaykinskaya, Johan Hugosson, Judith Markovich, Amanda Harberg, Ola  Gjeilo, and Maurizio Bignone.

A couple of these were expressly written for Brett Deubner. Either way though, Dubner and Franzetti triumph and we are all the better for it. The album gives much to explore and quite happily so. Very recommended.

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