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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Mari Kawamura, MA ~ Space Between, New and Classic Music for Solo Piano


Mari Kawamura is a concert pianist with a decidedly singular sort of musical commitment, as we might readily pick up on as we listen to her thought-provoking new anthology of solo piano music. MA ~ Space Between ~ (Furious Artisans FACD6831).

The liners give us insight into Ms. Kawamura's view of things. It is worth quoting at length. 

"Kawamura is drawn to music which utilizes the entirety of the piano  as an expressive device. She is as equally fascinated by works that showcase the tremendous agility of the instrument, as by compositions that explore its ability to produce cavernous resonances, complex spectral sounds, and unpitched noise."

Following this we get a true cornucopia of possibilities that accentuate some and most of these aspects as realized poetically and gracefully. That is clear listening to the program entailed. There are some six short Lei Liang works that bring a fully mysterious set of ruminations well worth repeated hearings. It is a reflective Modernity that parallels but does not duplicate a George Crumb. Katharina Rosenberg chimes in with an expansive and spacious analog of expressions most fitting as well.

Interestingly Franz Joseph Haydn's beautiful Piano Sonata Hob. XVI:40 sounds much more adventuresome in the midst of this program than he might in a more Classical Period program. Then Takemitsu and Xenakis both hold forth with extraordinary Modern open qualities, as you might expect, yet especially expressive and expansive in Mari Kawamura's hands.

This is nothing short of marvelous in every performative possibility and it gradually unfolds with every listen until you feel that the pianist surely speaks to all of us open to the cosmic possibilities of musical time and space. Bravo.

This is a landmark set of performances and the compositions ring true in the pianist's very capable and expressive hands. Check this one out without fail, do.

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