Notes and Editorial Reviews
Al ver mis horas de fiebre. 12 Études in the style of a tango. En la mar hay una torre
Peter Emberley’s Dream
Frédéric Chatoux (fl); Bertrand Giraud (pn); Alexandre Charbod (cl); Quator Monticelli
ANIMA 120900001 (55:52)
Argentinean native Martin Kutnowski received a Ph.D. from the City University of New York and subsequently taught for a time in the CUNY system; presently he serves as director of the
fine arts program at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. As a composer, to judge by this eclectic program, he finds inspiration in the history of his surroundings and the music and poetry of various cultures, and writes in a fluent, primarily tonal idiom that displays the performer’s skills in a favorable light. Two-thirds of the music here features the flute, and benefits from the impeccable playing of Frédéric Chatoux. The three-movement
Al ver mis horas de fiebre
(To see my hours of fever), for flute and piano, takes its programmatic impetus from three melancholy poems of unrequited love by the 19th-century Spanish poet Gustavo Bécquer, but the music is more inquisitive than despondent, winding through melodic terrain that is alternately exotic (with bent notes and breathy tone colors in the flute), pastoral, and vibrant. The
for solo flute draw upon the melodic and rhythmic idiosyncrasies of the Argentinean tango for their piquancy and bravura, negotiated by Chatoux with poise and panache.
En la mar hay una torre
(In the sea there is a tower) Kutnowski returns to Spain, this time stimulated by a medieval Sephardic Jewish song of a sailor seduced by a siren-like unattainable lover. Composed for clarinet and string quartet, it flows through waltz and ballad episodes with a few chromatic twists and modulations to suggest its Sephardic origins. The brief Sarabande from the wittily titled
Well Transfigured Clavier
(an allusion to the
of Schoenberg) offers echoes of Chopin and Ravel, with a soupçon of pre-dodecaphonic Schoenberg, as advertised, for harmonic spice. Finally,
Peter Emberley’s Dream
, also for solo piano, is a tender and luxurious adaptation of a New Brunswick-via-the-British-Isles folk song.
All of the performers do well by Kutnowski, with special marks for flutist Chatoux. Flute fanciers, especially, should enjoy this.
FANFARE: Art Lange
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