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Night Triptych / Duo Noire


Release Date: 06/22/2018 
Label:  New Focus   Catalog #: 210  
Composer:  Clarice Assad
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In this wonderful collection of works for two guitars by a group of composers hailing from many spots on the globe, Duo Noire provides a compelling snapshot of the range of expression in contemporary chamber music for the instrument. “Night Triptych” opens with Clarice Assad’s (of the famed Assad guitar family) ‘Hocus Pocus,’ a dynamic work blending the rhythmic intensity and rich harmonic color of the music from her native Brazil with an encyclopedic understanding of the timbral possibilities of the instrument. Mary Kouyoumdjian’s ‘Byblos’ is inspired by the ancient Lebanese city of the same name, and involves an accompanying electronic track that subtly deconstructs a Mediterranean traditional dance in hazy washes of sound. The guitar Read more writing at times evokes the figurations of its regional cousin, the oud. With its title, Courtney Bryan’s ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ signals its alignment with centuries of work dedicated to the glory of a higher being and purpose. The composition’s journey is framed in terms of Bryan’s relationship to the stages of prayer- Contemplative, Unsettled and Searching, Questioning and Hopin, a Prayer, Pursuing, Realization, Acceptance. Iranian composer Golfam Khayam’s title work is in three movements, and one hears echoes of the oud and Middle Eastern music in fleet. Gity Razaz’s work is more squarely within modern compositional tradition, and her ‘Four Haikus’ are four tightly crafted pieces. Gabriella Smith’s ‘Loop the Fractal Hold of Rain’ engages with popular music more overtly than the other music on the recording. Duo Noire’s playing throughout is virtuosic, sensitive, and calibrated beautifully to the style of each work. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Hocus Pocus by Clarice Assad

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