Goya, Bresnick, Moore and So Percussion....So much more than good!,
This review is from: Bresnick: Caprichos Enfaticos (MP3 Music)Cantaloupe Music has done it again. This CD label, created by the founders of the 'Bang on a Can' series that was such a presence and center of contemporary classical and experimental music in the 20th Century, doesn't disappoint. It challenges for sure, yet I think that our ears, much like that of our ancestors hearing Beethoven, Bach or Brahms for the first time, have evolved over time as well. Caprichos Enfaticos, composed by Martin Bresnick, and performed by pianist Lisa Moore and percussion quartet So Percussion, is a journey through the darkness of Goyas artwork - specifically his book of etchings that are Los Destastres de la Guerra, The Disasters of War. In more than 80 plates/etchings Goya captures the horror of war informed by Spain's War of Independence against Napoleon's forces.
According to art currator Peter Blum, "The original set of 85 etchings was most likely completed by Goya between 1810 and 1820, and entitled Fatales consequencias de la sangrienta guerra en España con Buonaparte. Y otros caprichos enfáticos. (Fatal consequences of Spain's bloody war with Buonaparte. And other emphatic caprices). The set of proofs was bound and given to his friend Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez to review, and is currently located in the British Museum. The prints were not published in Goya's lifetime. In 1863, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando published the first edition of 80 etchings as Los Desastres de la Guerra, bound as a book."
Ironically, Goya was likely deaf by the time he completed these etchings, yet the testiment to his work is made in this powerfully dark, introspective musical work of Martin Bresnick. The piece stands on its own merit although it was originally performed in a multi-media setting with slides of the etchings projected from DVD. So Percussion have become one of my favorite percussion ensembles and they are a brilliant combination of skill and resonance. As a percussionist myself I can appreciate the choices they made in selecting one instrument over another, with a sincere attention to the qualit of the sound and how it was prduced in combination with the other instruments. And pianist Lisa Moore shines in this and her other Cantaloupe recordings...
Percussion and piano seems so stark and perhaps that is the point. The etchings are stark and graphic and the simplicity of a small ensemble allows the listener to be surrounded at once and yet be present in the midst of the performance / recording itself. I highly recommend this recording and any of the Cantaloupe Music CDs - great quality recordings and performances, and a reminder of the importance of the music that came out of Meet the Composer grants...
Charlie Pitt is the pen name of Mitch Gordon, percussionist, mediator, conductor and radio host - Mitch is a host for ClassiCollage, heard Monday nights 9pm-midnight at nonprofit, noncommercial, WCUW 91.3 FM in Worcester, MA and streaming live around the world at [...]wcuw.org