Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Claire Bryant, Whole Heart, New Music for Cello and Cello with Violin, Viola


Cellist Claire Bryant shows us the beauty and strength of her playing while working through a satisfying series of short works by composers in the thick of New Music and Radical Tonality (if I can keep that latter descriptive moniker-phrase alive here). The program as a whole enriches our appreciation of the sort of early-post timeless depth of composers like Arvo Part, music akin to what he has so wonderfully given us over the years, yet each a step in their own direction. This is music that heightens the expressive virtuosity so readily at hand in Ms. Bryant's playing and too that of violist Nadia Sirota and violinist Ari Streisfeld, as called for.

There is a kind of Plein Air natural yet Modern feel to these works. The composers themselves may not be well known to you, but each partakes of the bare-bones matter-of-fact open chamber sound of solo cello and cello-violin or cello-viola concentrations. There is a pronounced kind of contemplative-meditative atmosphere surrounding each of these works in their own way.

So to consider the composers themselves: there are compositions, one each, by Andrea Casarrubios, Adam Schoenberg, Jessica Meyer, Caroline Shaw, Reena Esmail, Tanner Porter, and Jessie Montgomery.

The entire program captivates end-to-end. The thoughtfulness of the works themselves are matched by the dedicated brilliance of Claire Bryant and her cohorts. I recommend this one to you strongly, especially you all who like me have grown very attached to the solo string presence, the string duos and the unfolding repertoire for such groupings, 

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