AMN Reviews: Brice Catherin – Winterreise

Brice Catherin: Winterreise [pyr065]

Winterreise is composer/cellist Brice Catherin’s 40-minute long concerto for cello and small ensemble, recorded at its premier performance in October 2010. Catherin describes this work as having been composed for “cello with specific techniques,” which here means the substantial use of triple and quadruple stops. Because these cannot be produced with the standard bow, the work calls for the specially-made Bach.bogen bow.

The Bach.bogen is a dramatically curved bow developed by German cellist/composer Michael Bach in 1990, with the involvement of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. In contrast to a conventional bow, the Bach.bogen’s curve allows its user to play polyphonically by sounding one, two, three or four strings at once. Although frequently associated with contemporary experimental music, the bow as conceived goes back to Albert Schweitzer’s 1905 book on J.S. Bach, the argument being that a sufficiently curved bow was needed to sound the chords of the composer’s solo works for cello and violin. But it’s perhaps best known for its use in John Cage’s ONE8.

For this premier performance, Catherin played the solo cello. Its parts add up to a kind of inventory of the technical possibilities afforded by the Bach.bogen, from grinding, overpressured chords to polyphonic vibrato to the opposition of rapidly repeated figures on higher strings against drones on the lower strings. The accompanying orchestra is described as a free ensemble, meaning one in which the number of instruments is determined but the choice of instruments is left open. This particular ensemble is made up of a highly diverse group of instruments including multiple saxophones, guitar and bass guitars, violins, percussion, accordions, and even a homemade sitar. The ensemble supports the solo cello with a thick but porous tissue of sound characterized by shifts in color, texture and density rather than by conventional changes in harmony.

Catherin composed Winterreise as the first of three concerti for Bach.bogen cello. It will be interesting indeed to hear the subsequent installments in this series.

Creative Differences Update

Eric Vloeimans (trumpet)
Eric Vloeimans (trumpet) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Baltimore’s Creative Differences:

Trio Vloeimans/Azmeh/Weber
Lafayette Gilchrist

Thursday December 20 @ 7.30pm
@2640 Space.
2640 St Paul St,Baltimore MD 21201

Eric Vloeimans plays trumpet with such a warm, smooth tone that when he begins a piece in the horn’s lower register, it almost sounds more like a flute than a brass instrument. “Smooth,” in this case, isn’t synonymous with “slick” or “commercial” — instead, Vloeimans plays with tranquility and calm in his music.

A native of Holland, Vloeimans has garnered a reputation in both Europe and the United States for his work. Originally a classical trumpeter, he made the switch to jazz while studying at the Rotterdam School of Music, later coming to the U.S. to study with jazz trumpet player Donald Byrd. While he spends most of his time on the Continent, he has performed in America more frequently in the past few years.

Of the trumpeter’s two associates on this tour, pianist Florian Weber can lay claim to a wide range of projects. He recently released Biosphere, an album under his own name in which he straddled his own progressive originals with interpretations of modern rock and pop songs. Frequently playing both acoustic and electric pianos simultaneously, Weber gave the pop tunes as much weight as his originals. Written in the insane meter of 25/16, Biosphere’s title trackproved to be the album’s intense centerpiece. Weber also plays in the trio Minsarah, who received a major boost when playing with veteran saxophonist Lee Konitz on his 2010 Live at the Village Vanguard session. Konitz, whose career dates back to Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool, has a reputation for revisiting standards like “All the Things You Are” on a regular basis, finding some new music direction each time. Weber and his crew were an ideal support system.

In Baltimore, the duo will be joined by Kinan Azmeh, a clarinetist from Syria. Much like Vloeimans, he straddles the classical and jazz worlds, having worked with his own group HEWAR, members of the Berlin Philharmonic and percussionist Zakir Hussain.

Doors at 7:30,concert will start at 8 PM. $10 donation requested. This concert will be in the sanctuary space, so please come to the 27th St. entrance.

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

Andrea Centazzo - Mandala Roma - Auditorium
Andrea Centazzo – Mandala Roma – Auditorium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Free Jazz:

Andrea Centazzo & Roberto Ottaviano – In A Rainy Day (Ictus, 2012) ***½
Double Tandem – Ox (dEN Records, 2012) ****
Martin Küchen: Hellstorm – Man erkennt langsam das Elend, das über uns gekommen ist (Mathka, 2012) *****
Keith Tippett Octet – From Granite To Wind (Ogun, 2012) ****
Stanislav Bobrytskyy & Mikhail Paramzin – Draft Communication (self released, 2012) ****
Old Time Musketry – Different Times (SteepleChase/LookOut, 2012) ***½
A Windy Season – Tidal (Amirani, 2012) ***½
Vox Arcana – Soft Focus (Relay, 2012) ****

Interpretations 2013 Spring Season

English: Pheeroan akLaff at a concert with Don...
English: Pheeroan akLaff at a concert with Don Byron’s new Gospel Quintet. Treibhaus Innsbruck, 2010 Deutsch: Pheeroan akLaff bei einem Auftritt mit Don Byron’s new Gospel Quintet. Treibhaus Innsbruck, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From New York’s Interpretations:

Interpretations 24 – Spring 2013 Season

The 24th season of the Interpretations concert series continues January through May 2013! Our Spring season features many composer/performers that are familiar to New York audiences: Pheeroan akLaff, Kathleen Supové, Marty Ehrlich, and Brandon Ross. We also have some amazing new music ensembles: New York’s Ekmeles vocal ensemble, Parisian string quartet DIOTIMA, Hamburg’s L’Art Pour L’Art and a duo project from English tuba virtuoso Melvyn Poore. We look forward to seeing you this season!

Thursday, January 24, 2013, 8PM

Ekmeles vocal ensemble // Pheeroan akLaff’s “Music of Global Mantras”

New York vocal ensemble Ekmeles presents a varied program of music by American composers, or on texts by American writers, including Aaron Cassidy’s “I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips“ & Bryan Jacobs’ “Do You Need, Do To Me, 18 Me, 18 Mean”(for voices and electronics), plus works by Lou Karchin, Ben Johnston, Ken Ueno, and Evan Johnson. Inspired by years of travel in Africa, India, the Near East, and Japan, Pheeroan akLaff”s “Global Mantras” & “Tattva of Aquarius Age Reclamation” will debut a photographic installation & a libretto for voice. With Scott Robinson, Jerome Harris, Aska Kaneko, Jun Miyake, & vocalists DK Dyson, Hsuan Ma, & Michael Rogers.

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 8PM

Thomas Buckner, with Ensemble L’Art Pour L’Art

Baritone Thomas Buckner welcomes Hamburg-based L’Art pour L’Art, who are celebrating 30 years as an ensemble in 2013. The evening features two works by Matthias Kaul, plus Michael Meierhof’s “Rostfrei”, Christian Wolff’s “Edges”, and John Cage’s “Four6”.

Thursday, March 21, 2013, 8PM

Kathleen Supové “Earth To Kathy” // Melvyn Poore & Cort Lippe

Pianist Kathleen Supové takes off with compositions for piano and soundtrack by Lainie Fefferman, Matt Marks, and Randall Woolf, inspired by Claude Debussy, and featuring the premiere of “Flaming Pairs” by Eric Lyon, part of an evening length work entitled “Earth To Kathy“. PLUS: New concepts for solo tuba technique and sound design from English tubist Melvyn Poore and sound artist Cort Lippe.

Thursday April 11, 2013, 8PM

DIOTIMA String Quartet

Acclaimed Paris-based string quartet Diotima presents music of composers spanning the last 50 years: Henri Dutilleux’s “Ainsi la Nuit”, Toshio Hosokawa’s “Silent Flowers”, and two works from Hugh Levick: “The Unimagined” and “Empire Inc.”

Thursday May 9, 2013, 8PM

Marty Ehrlich “Music for String Quartet & Woodwinds” // Brandon Ross “For Living Lovers”

NY premiere of Marty Ehrlich’s string quartet “Plowshares People”, & two world premieres: one for solo clarinet, and one for string quartet plus alto saxophone, with cellist Alex Waterman, violinist Jenny Choi, and others. “For Living Lovers”, the acoustic duo of Brandon Ross (guitar/banjo/voice) and Stomu Takeishi (acoustic bass guitar) presents an evening with special guests, preceding the May 21st 2013 release of the duo’s debut recording, “Revealing Essence” on Sunnyside Records.

509 Atlantic Ave. Downtown Brooklyn
2, 3, 4, 5, C, G, D, M, N, R, B & Q trains & LIRR.
General admission: $15 / $10 Roulette Members, Students, Seniors.
Tickets can be purchased online at WWW.INTERPRETATIONS.INFO