Thursday, September 7, 2023

David Mastikosa, Escape, Chamber Works

David Mastikosa is a prolific composer for his age. He is around 31, born in Herzegovina, Bosnia. He may be young but he sounds quite seasoned.This we hear in Escape (Ravello Digital RR8075), his inaugural effort and a wide ranging series it is, with some nine absorbing compositions for chamber combinations. The title work "Escape" portrays the struggle against the mundane and negative aspects of everyday life.  It  has a notable Eastern European flavor with avant oriented accordion expressing a variety of colors and textures. That color possibilities approach is seconded in the dramatic juxtaposition of  prepared and solo piano on the following "Detune," with avant composition contrasting with conventional pianism sounding an old school chorale. 

Then we have a poignant violin solo and string orchestra in "Ul-la". The bracing  big band sound of "Nucleus Expansion"  sets up a riff and a vehicle for a kind of madly swinging Jazz Improv feel. Listen to that alone and I suspect you like me will get a good feeling about the composer. But each work has its own presence and vitality.

Hear a complete stream at

I find this all intriguing and a nice example of a younger composer off to a great start in his embracing of a vast array of differences in sound and sty;e, but especially fitting into a Modernism for today. Bravo.

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