Search This Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2023

A Left Coast, New Music Songs from British Columbia Performed by Tyler Duncan and Erika Switzer


Listeners to Classical and/or New Music may or may not ordinarily take some time to explore songs and songful lieder as part of what is out there to appreciate. In my humble opinion everybody should do so. Why?  If some have not spent much time in that universe if they did they might well discover an inviting  kind of alternate chamber possibility,  a world unto itself in many ways. Such a world may be considered and inhabited on a exploratory basis via the various surveys out these days in recorded form. You might well consider a new one that is nicely detailed and expressive, covering British Columbian byways, namely A Left Coast (Bridge Records 9574) featuring the significant artistry of baritone Tyler Duncan and pianist Erika Switzer. It is series of some 18 songs or song suite  movements that they characterize as "A heartfelt playlist for British Columbia." 

That both artists and composers share an affinity with the Canadian province translates to a kind of unity of purpose for all the artists in ways not always present in a typical anthology. And here there too is an remarkably successful Expressionist commitment to the combined complexities of text recitation and musical performance. In the process Tyler Duncan shows us a classic heroic temperament that turns out nicely attuned dramatic fictions that live inside your listening musical being in ways worthy of your appreciation.

Pianist Erika Switzer has a poetic touch that makes of the lieder something timeless, not unModern but with a pronounced lifeway of heroic immediacy that the dedicated exceptional pianism serves to forward in  tandem with Duncan's beautifully nuanced delivery.

Each of the composer featured in this anthology has taught at the University of British Columbia's School of Music, and each as such represents one of the region's prime voices on the local new music scene. None follow some set Modernist path nor exactly a set New Classicism either.

So you may well appreciate as I did each of the compositional contributions to this vital anthology, they in fact consist of  Iman Habibi (b. 1985), Jean Coulthard (1908-2000), Jocelyn Morelock (1969-2023),  Stephen Chatman (b. 1950), Leslie Uyeda (b. 1953), Melissa Hui (b. 1966), Jeffrey Ryan (b. 1962)

Check out a video of one of the Habibi works at the following YouTube link:

No comments:

Post a Comment