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Voces Internas - Contemporary Mexican Works For Cello / Golove, Manes, Tamez

Tamez / Lavista / De Elias / Golove / Manes
Release Date: 12/14/2010 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1235  
Composer:  Nicandro TamezLeandro EspinosaMario LavistaOmar Tamaz,   ... 
Performer:  Jonathan GoloveStephen ManesEmilio Tamez
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VOCES INTERNAS: Contemporary Works for Cello Jonathan Golove (vc); Stephen Manes (pn 1 ); Emilio Tamez (perc 2 ) ALBANY TROY 1235 (74:13)

Nicandro TAMEZ 1 Introduccion al Duo I. Monomaquia. ESPINOSA 1 Duo “De la Obscuridad a la Luz.” Read more class="COMPOSER12">LAVISTA Cuaderno de viaje. 1 Quotations. Omar TAMEZ 2 Las Voces Internas. ELÍAS Homérica

THOUGHTS AND DREAMS: Contemporary Works for Piano Trio Baird Tr ALBANY TROY 908 (70:00)

SEGERSTAM Trio No. 2, “Of Thoughts in One Movement.” HENZE Chamber Sonata. SHARAFYAN Trio No. 2, “Dream of Dreams.” GOLOVE Bad Dreams. MANSURIAN Bagatelles

There’s a staggering variety of music here, from Henze’s early (and slightly tentative) flirtation with 12-tone technique to Mansurian’s sometimes sweet folk-inflected post-romanticism, from the gorgeous light-play of the harmonics at the beginning of Lavista’s Cuaderno to the bardic outpourings of Elías’s Homérica , from the fantastic worlds created by the stylistic clashes (often superimposed) in Sharafyan’s trio (what we might call “avant-garde ethnic”) to the darkly expressionistic glower of Segerstam’s trio. And throughout it all, Golove and his partners (pianist Stephen Manes and violinist Movses Pogossian in the trios) demonstrate a capacious sympathy and a quicksilver response. It’s hard to write about a wide-ranging assortment of pieces like this without turning the review into a mere list—but since the works on Thoughts and Dreams have already been described in some detail by James H. North ( Fanfare 31:1) and since Golove discusses the Mexican CD in some detail in the interview above, I don’t think it’s unfair simply to highlight the three pieces that struck me most on my first acquaintance with these CDs.

In general, I’m leery of single recordings of music that leaves performers a great deal of interpretive leeway; to appreciate the structure and potential of the music, you really need to hear multiple versions. Still, it’s hard not to be struck by the bold integrity of Nicandro Tamez’s virtuoso Introduction , actually composed as a lead-in for the duo by his pupil Leandro Espinosa. In his notes, the composer’s son Omar rightly calls the piece “rhapsodic”—indeed, it’s rhapsodic not only in the unpredictability of its overall flow, but in its variety of utterance, too: There are even some thematic nods to Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge . But even with all that, and with all the graphic notation, the piece (at least in Golove’s hands) is never slack, holding you firmly in its grip.

Lavista’s Cuaderno de viaje has, for me at least, an even greater pull. Originally written for viola, this “travel log” is inspired by a trip to Italy—and its evocative power comes partly from the “reflected” quality of harmonics, where, in the composer’s words, each sound is “produced … by a fundamental sound that we never get to hear.” Lavista studied with, among others, Chávez, Boulanger, and Stockhausen—quite a combination!—but seems, through it all, to have maintained his own voice. A truly haunting work.

Haunting in a very different way is Golove’s own Bad Dreams , the second of which describes the Continental Op’s drug-induced dream—from which, as Hammett puts it, he awakens to find his hand on “the round blue and white handle” of an ice pick whose “six-inch needle-sharp blade was buried in Dinah Brand’s left breast.” We know this is a setup—or do we? Part of the novel’s drama stems from the Op’s inability to remember precisely what happened to him. And for this passage, Golove gives us some terrifyingly eerie music that keeps us consistently off balance—not as clean a surface as Hammett’s tough prose, but in its own way, just as vivid, as the underlying pop songs tease you with a sense of things not quite remembered. The opening movement is similarly effective, giving us a musical sense of Dinah’s mercurially erotic character.

But having decided to point to my favorites-of-the-moment, I feel as frustrated as I always do after finishing my annual Want List: There’s so much more to praise, so much more to encourage you to hear. Simply put, both of these discs are filled with music of tremendous character by composers who, for the most part, are little known—music that consistently challenges our ears and minds and imaginations. As I’ve said, the performances are superb; and while I would have liked a little more detail about the graphic notation used (and perhaps more examples from the scores), there’s no reason to fault the production. Another pair of triumphs for Albany, one of our boldest independent record companies.

FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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Works on This Recording

Introduccion al Duo by Nicandro Tamez
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello), Stephen Manes (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Mexico 
De la Obscruidad a la Luz by Leandro Espinosa
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello), Stephen Manes (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Mexico 
Cuaderno de viaje by Mario Lavista
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Mexico 
La Voces Internas by Omar Tamaz
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello), Emilio Tamez (Percussion)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Mexico 
Quotations by Mario Lavista
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello), Stephen Manes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Mexico 
Homérica by Manuel de Elías
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Mexico 
Monomaquia by Nicandro Tamez
Performer:  Jonathan Golove (Cello)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: Mexico 

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