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Monday, October 16, 2023

Dan Flanagan, The Bow and the Brush, New Music for Solo Violin


Solo violin music in the Contemporary Classical world has become something like what the solo saxophone offerings became in New Jazz beginning in the seventies, a kind of opening frontier and as such a qualisign of a sort of artistic sincerity, more or less. Well put that thought at the top of mind for violinist Dan Flanagan as he steps ahead with a 14-work anthology he has commissioned or composed for on the new CD The Bow and the Brush (MSP Classics  xxxx). For the synasthesiastically oriented such as myself each work has a corresponding artwork to which it refers and re-registers in aural terms, if you will.

Of the 14 compositions and composers represented (13 composers with the violinist handling two himself) doubtless there are composers you might not know, but they all produce solo violin works without an overly prescriptive label; all are imaginative and require substantial facility. Some are more obviously tonal than not, most in fact, then there is adventure in the advanced quality of stops and figurations in the concentric depth you might expect from such thoroughly advanced fare, yet too a sometimes demonically fiddling quality that brings us nearer to earth.

So we hear works by Flanagan and then also Nathaniel Stookey, Jose Gonzalez Granero, Shinji Eshima, Linda Marcel, Cindy Cox, Evan Price, Libby Larsen, James Stephenson, Jessica Mays, Trevor Weston, Edmund Campion, Peter Josef.

It is all first rate fare and will give the violin lover a wealth of the best kind of new music, things that really are new!

Watch a full concert of Dan Flanagan and his Bow and Brush music in depth:

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