Conditional Bach: Four New Academic Music Albums
Little-known composers, significant composers and jazzmen, playing Bach “as it should,” according to the notes. Such is the catch of June.
It is gratifying when musicians fearlessly change their roles. This, of course, is about the re-release of Keith Jarrett’s Bach album. It’s great when star musicians bring good contemporary composers to the light of God. Or they make conceptual programs around a humane idea that everyone understands. And it turns out a classic for everyone, but not a simple crossover, but for people with sensitive ears.
Keith Jarrett “The Well-Tempered Clavier, book I” Keith Jarrett’s new album is always an event in the jazz world. And now in the classic. However, the material of this album was recorded in March 1987 at a concert in New York. Actually, the outstanding American jazzman and improviser Keith Jarret Bach is no stranger: he recorded albums with his music for ECM, and played the harpsichord with the authenticity of the authentic. That is, obviously – deep in the subject. Now he recorded the entire “Well-Tempered Clavier” – a work so textbook that the specialists call it the abbreviation “HTK”. Jarrett is sound (brilliant and polished), phrasing (elegant and fun) and improvisations (witty, meditative … put any epithet). Bach is brilliant melodies and, at the same time, a composer master class. That is, to some extent, any composer writing tonal music is such a conditional Bach. And, although these melodies are difficult to spoil, but, as one friend of musicologist says, Bach determines the maturity of a musician. I don’t want to draw any conclusions here, but Jarrett’s CTC turned out to be somewhat dry and fresh. Although he pushes the pace and tries to play driving, clearly, rock-like, but as a result there is almost nothing left for Jarrett, and some kind of Bach … exactly what is conditional: they took notes and played. Pierre-Laurent Aymar (2014, Deutsche Grammophon) – it is better not to compare. But if you consider Jarrett’s tour de force as a crossover project – for jazz fans who are not familiar with HTK – this is, of course, very cool. On the other hand, it would be better to improvise something like Brad Meldau on the album After Bach – this is really a congenial performance and co-composition! Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerAlexandre Kantorow “Saint-Saëns – Piano Concertos No. 3-5 ”To be honest, I had already planned to write about this album, released in early May. But then, after prescription, he threw it away. Now I’ll return to the compilation, because there was a plot twist – the Frenchman Alexander Kantorov came to Moscow for the Competition. Tchaikovsky and charmed there all the brilliant skill and freshness of interpretation. In general, we can say our man. By the way, the results of the competition were unknown to me at the time of writing the review. On this album with the last three Saint-Saens concerts (there are five of them), this very freshness of interpretation is present in the best possible way. Not to mention that the concerts themselves – amazingly beautiful, light, with beautiful melodies and zero pathos – are not too played on their own. Given that the soloist is there, where to show off with technique, these moments in the game of Kantorov do not dominate. It’s an illustration to the idea of Marcel Proust that virtuoso technique is a “window” in the meaning of the piece. Apple Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer Hilary Hahn “García Abril: 6 Partitas” On the cover of this disc HILARY is written in large letters. And small – the composer and others. What can I say, violinist Hilary Khan is a brand, and she can do anything. For example, like here: record an album of works by a contemporary composer for a violin solo. However, all the famous works with leading orchestras, conductors of the world, this little girl, it seems, has already recorded. The six scores are written by contemporary Spanish composer Anton Garcia Abril. Outside of Spain, he is not very famous, and in his homeland he is a grand and master, author of soundtracks, in particular, to “Texas Adios” with Franco Nero. There is nothing more to say, and you will not drag any texture. And music, meanwhile, is extremely curious. Neoclassicism in a good way – so melodic, slightly angular, passionate in Spanish. Not crying a lonely violin and not mean beauty: richly ornamented, many intervals, sounds dense, juicy and driving. Apple Music, Yandex. Music, Deezer Albrecht Mayer Longing for Paradise Hence the name – “The Desire of Paradise”. Unobvious collection: English classic of the XX century Edward Elgar, who does not need to be introduced by Richard Strauss and the little-known non-music lovers Englishman Eugene Goossens. The works can be said to be hit! Soliloquy (“Monologue”) Elgar – a romantic song without words, bright and painful. In the same mood – D major Concerto for oboe and small orchestra by Richard Strauss.