Notes and Editorial Reviews
František Sou?ek (va);
Vladimir Fortin (vc);
Richard Ormrod (pn);
Curtis Macomber (vn);
Christopher Oldfather (pn)
SUMMIT 509 (57:02)
This CD consists of two substantial chamber-music pieces that both exhibit strength and beauty, but expressed in different ways. The Violin Sonata, from 2001, is notable for an especially taut structure, a five movement arch with many elements of symmetry. There is a sprightly, even dance-like energy in the outer movements that suggests the neo-Classical Stravinsky, countered by shorter, somewhat quirky layers surrounding a weighty, reflective center. Asia shows notable authority in his slower music, which tends to proceed with firm confidence in the ability of the assembled components to carry the day. The simplicity of expression is deceptive; the composer works with very carefully crafted manipulations of harmony, rhythm, and dynamics. The whole work imparts a satisfying sense of form and substance, as if an interesting story is being related. That quality is strongly enhanced by the suberb playing here, especially the vital and strongly communicative violin-playing of Christopher Macomber.
The Trio, written in 1996 as a memorial commissioned by Philip Vance for his wife, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, also conveys a bigness that belies the intimate instrumentation. Jaunty, motoric outer movements surround a serene, large-scale slow movement, which proceeds deliberately, even dreamily. Asia uses the vowels of Jeannette’s name to form a motif for the cello, based on E, A, E, G?, and G. After the introduction, whole-tone progressions on the piano, accompanied by a rocking pattern on the violin, give the music an Asian sensibility (no pun intended). This morphs into a lush, lyrical passage, which abruptly returns to the sparse music that preceded it, before launching into a sweet coda.
Daniel Asia is a prolific, relatively young composer who has developed a distinctive voice that, at this point in his career, transcends technical considerations and allows him to express himself in a direct and confident manner. This CD is an excellent sampling of that art, and there is a lot more where this comes from. Stay tuned.
FANFARE: PETER BURWASSER
Works on This Recording
Trio for Piano and Strings by Daniel Asia
Richard Omrod (Piano),
Frantisek Soucek (Violin),
Vladimir Fortin (Cello)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1996; USA
Length: 29 Minutes 30 Secs.
Sonata for Violin and Piano by Daniel Asia
Christopher Oldfather (Piano),
Curtis Macomber (Violin)
Written: 2001; USA
Length: 25 Minutes 47 Secs.
Sonata for Violin & Piano: I. Fast and Spritely
Sonata for Violin & Piano: II. Enigmatic, Inscrutable
Sonata for Violin & Piano: III. Grave, Maestoso
Sonata for Violin & Piano: IV. Enigmatic, but with Humor
Sonata for Violin & Piano: V. Fast, Spritely and Impetuous
Piano Trio: I. Allegro ma non troppo
Piano Trio: II. Adagio: Lirico con calore
Piano Trio: III. Allegro energico
Be the first to review this title