AMN Reviews: Szilard Mezei – 49 glances toward field

Szilard Mezei: 49 glances toward field [echo]

This release from Szilard Mezei, a Serbian composer and instrumentalist of Hungarian background, contains 49 succinct pieces for string trio and vibraphone, ten of which also include vocals. The trio is made up of the composer on viola, Ervin Malina on double bass and Albert Markos on cello; Lazar Colovic joins them on vibraphone, while Hajnalka Tarapcsik and Andrea Kalmar provide the vocals.

The pieces, which range in length from six seconds to over seven minutes, mix compositions by Mezei with improvisations by all four musicians. The opening track introduces a melancholic, modal theme—here set out by strings and vocals—that returns with variation throughout the recording, lending the work a strong sense of cohesion. The overall atmosphere is one of brooding, even when the heavier modal melodies are broken up by sharp, free improvisations drawing generously on extended techniques and the phrasing vocabulary of the postwar art music avant garde.