15 Togni Luminous VoicesPeter-Anthony Togni – Sea Dreams
Luminous Voices Chamber Choir
Leaf Music LM236 (leaf-music.ca)

Sea Dreams showcases eight works by Dartmouth-based composer, Peter-Anthony Togni, performed by the Calgary professional chamber choir, Luminous Voices, under artistic director Timothy Shantz, with special guest instrumentalists. 

The three-movement title track, Sea Dreams (2018), for choir and two flutes (Sara Hahn-Scinocco and Sarah MacDonald) reflects on Togni’s relationship with the ocean/sea/water and journey of faith. The first movement, Pray for those who are in Ships, draws on texts from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The choir is cast as the sailing ship, singing diverse dynamics, held notes and harmonies, highlighted by soprano Katie Partridge’s warm high-pitched solo. The flutes are the water, playing atonal lines, puffs and breaths. Alma Redemptoris uses a Marian hymn text in its calmer mood and floating vocal swells. More Eliot texts, choir held notes, whispers, a tenor solo by Oliver Munar and flute wavelike runs adorn Perpetual Angelus

Sparse instrumentation in Earth Voices (2014) as hand drummer Tova Olson and percussionist Victor Cheng play contrasting builds to a more atonal vocal section, and bell rings with choral whispers. Bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly plays with nuance, low pitches and extended technique touches, especially during tenor Timothy Shantz’s colourful solo in Responsio introit, and the dramatic clarinet/choir duets in Silentio. The five a cappella compositions include the earlier work Psaume 98 (1997) with its more traditional counterpoint and repeated bass/tenor rhythms.

Togni’s choral composition evolution is perfectly recorded by Luminous Voices. An amazing artistic accomplishment by all!

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01 archlute theorboThe Filippo Dalla Casa Collection
Pablo Zapico; Daniel Zapico (archlute/theorbo duet)
Winter and Winter 910 258-2 (winterandwinter.com)

Convention tells us that the theorbo and archlute were rivals of the newly emerging harpsichord before conceding defeat and disappearing. Enter Filippo Dalla Casa to dispel this illusion, for he compiled a two-volume collection of music for these two instruments dated 1759 and 1760 – several years after their supposed demise. (Even then it was not until 1811 that Dalla Casa donated his manuscript to a musical conservatory in Bologna.)

Full credit to Pablo and Daniel Zapico for playing 17 pieces from Dalla Casa’s manuscript plus an anonymous sinfonia. Their enthusiasm and skill show themselves in the very first Sonata, which has come down to us anonymously. This is a lively composition of the quality associated with the archlute’s earlier (and supposedly greater) days; it is followed by similarly demanding movements scored Allegro.

The anonymous composer of track 13 who composed the Largo, with its dignified cascading entrance, certainly deserves to be known to us. Contrast it with the spritely quality of Giuseppe Vaccari’s two Allegro movements. Dalla Casa only lists an author for seven of the tracks on this CD; even then they are almost unknown writers – but surely one more reason why this recording is important.  

This CD breaks down misconceptions. First, that the theorbo and archlute died out earlier than they did with the rise of the harpsichord. Secondly, that they were doomed to monotonous continuo parts. This CD proves otherwise.

02 Sainte ColombeMonsieur de Sainte-Colombe et ses filles
Lucile Boulanger; Rolf Lislevand; Myriam Rignol; Philippe Pierlot
Mirare MIR336 (mirare.fr/album) 

Other than being slightly aware that there had been a brief renaissance of the music of Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe (Jean de Sainte- Colombe 1640-1700) during the 1990s, I knew little about the French composer and celebrated violist, prior to picking up this fine recording. I am glad that I did, however. Recorded beautifully in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Nantes, the church’s gorgeous acoustics become a welcome fifth member of the consort of Philippe Pierlot, Lucile Boulanger and Myriam Rignol, all on viola de gamba, along with theorbist Rolf Lislevand, to faithfully recreate and capture the nuance and intimacy of this still-popular musical form. 

Listening to the 17th-century music of Sainte-Colombe, along with complementary pieces by Louis Couperin, Jacques Champion de Chambonnières and Robert de Visée during Lockdown 2020 can, I suppose, feel somewhat anachronistic, if not downright discordant from the realities that we are all dealing with on a daily basis. But if it is possible for you to do so, the opportunity to disconnect and to immerse yourself in the listening pleasure of this straight-forward, well-played and conversational music is there for you here. Perhaps most meaningfully, the realities of COVID-19 have forced many of us to potentially re-evaluate friendships, reconnect (or make amends), realizing that life is valuable and, sadly, short. Always, perhaps, but seeming to be particularly so during this time of widespread illness and loss. Accordingly, Sainte-Colombe’s Tombeau Les Regrets, performed beautifully here, offers an opportunity for listeners to contemplate and “meditate upon death,” allowing the Stoic edict Memento Mori (“remember that you will die”), to be not a morbid reality check, but rather to remind us all to love, live and listen, fully and completely. A valuable lesson to be sure, and one, perhaps, that the beauty of early music can teach us today.

03 Beethoven HewittBeethoven – Variations
Angela Hewitt
Hyperion CDA68346 (hyperion-records.co.uk)

2020 has certainly been a year like no other. And while social media informs me that many of us, while hibernating in lockdown, have turned to amateur immunology, sourdough baking and mask creation as a way of passing the time, the Canadian-born, beloved and highly fêted pianist, Angela Hewitt, turned her keen musical gaze during lockdown towards Beethoven’s colossal “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Op. 106, which she learned, thus completing her cycle of the composer’s 32 sonatas. Hewitt, renowned for her interpretations of the major keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach, for which she was, earlier this year, awarded the City of Leipzig Bach Medal – the first time in its history the award was bestowed upon a woman – continues her focus on LvB here, on this great new Hyperion recording, Beethoven Variations

Approaching the repertoire with the creative insight, scholarly rigour and wholly unique interpretative lens for which she is known, Hewitt once again reveals her singular ability to not only bridge, but illuminate Beethoven’s challenging musical passages (which she seems to traverse with effortless virtuosic ease) with the baked-in humour and sense of fun that perhaps few see, but which Hewitt neatly brings to the fore. As she writes about the album’s penultimate track, “God save the King” in her own terrifically penned liner notes that offer invaluable informative pedagogical insight into her artistic and pianistic process, “if ever you needed proof of humour in his music, here it is,” before launching into its deft contrapuntal workout. 

04 Schubert OctetSchubert – Octet
Quatuor Modigliani; Bruno Schneider; Sabine Meyer; Dag Jensen; Knut Erik Sundquist
Mirare MIR4438 (mirare.fr)

When Schubert took on a commission request in 1824 to compose a piece similar to Beethoven’s Septet, he was in a vulnerable place in his life – his physical health was poor, he was experiencing bouts of depression and his music was not getting the recognition he was hoping for. Yet he wrote the largest-scale chamber music work of his opus and it did not reflect the intensity of his life at the time. The Octet is pure Schubert magic – full of abundant solo lines for each of the eight instruments, beautiful, elegant and uplifting. Although this piece has a similar instrumentation and basic structure to Beethoven’s Septet, perhaps Schubert’s biggest nod to Beethoven comes through the achievement of great creativity and layers of expression in the midst of suffering.

The Modigliani Quartet and their respective colleagues, Sabine Meyer (clarinet), Bruno Schneider (horn), Dag Jensen (bassoon) and Knut Erik Sundquist (double bass), take on this magical piece with an understated gusto. Almost an hour long and consisting of six movements, Schubert’s Octet requires unrelenting drive and imagination, both of which came through in the fabulous artistry of the ensemble. Their performance has a wonderful combination of intensity and lightness that kept me both relaxed and at the edge of my seat. This ensemble has enjoyable synergy that is most obvious in a unity and refinement of their interpretative ideas and sound.

05 MatanPorat CarnavalCarnaval – A recital around Schumann’s Carnaval Op.9
Matan Porat
Mirare MIR502D (matanporat.com)

These are challenging times and what better way to help lift the pervading dark mood than a musical carnival – specifically Schumann’s Carnaval Op.9? The piece, completed in 1835, remains among the most beloved from the Romantic repertoire and, seemingly, would never warrant any degree of modification. Yet the Israeli-born pianist Matan Porat had other ideas, and the result is this splendid recording on the Mirare label, his third disc to date.

Porat acknowledged that while Carnaval is a quintessential document of Romanticism, he wanted to take a closer look at Schumann’s musical mind and expand upon the original score through the insertion of 23 additional short pieces by 18 composers as diverse as Heitor Villa-Lobos, François Couperin and György Kurtág. In so doing, Porat hoped it would not only shed light on music by other composers, but also inspire a greater appreciation for the original score.

And it works! Delivering a polished and elegant performance, Porat has clearly taken considerable care with the placement of the musical selections.  As an example, Schumann’s Pierrot is followed by Villa-Lobos’ A manha da Pierrette, written in the same coquettish mood. On the other hand, Kurtág’s Ostinato in A-flat, with its repeated bass notes, forms a fine introduction to Schumann’s Reconnaissance in the same key, which is followed by the  Prelude in C Minor from Bach’s first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and in turn, Pantolon and Columbine, all demonstrating the same frenetic energy.

Finally, after 43 tracks, what could be a better ending than the rousing Davidsbündler March, bringing the set to a most satisfying conclusion? Kudos to Porat, not only for an exemplary performance, but for his skillful reconfiguration of a much-loved piece – recommended.

06 Reawakened ClarinetReawakened – Clarinet Concertos
Robert Plane; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins
Champs Hill Records CHRCD160 (champshillrecords.co.uk/691/Robert-Plane-Reawakened)

Three long-overlooked British clarinet concertos here receive their first-ever recordings, “reawakened” by Robert Plane, principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

For unspecified reasons, Richard H. Walthew (1872-1951) left his Concerto for Clarinet (1902) in manuscript, unorchestrated until recently completed by Alfie Pugh. Its opening movement resembles Richard Strauss’ “Mozartian” style; the Andante and Vivace partake, respectively, of Edwardian nobility and jollity. It’s a charming, cheerful work, well worth a listen.

Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) composed her Clarinet Concerto in G Minor, Op.9 in 1940, the year she began studying with Ralph Vaughan Williams. His influence pervades throughout: in the first movement, the clarinet seemingly extemporizes over an outdoorsy walking bass; the bucolic mood is sustained in the pastoral slow movement and the folk-dancy finale. It’s another attractive audience-pleaser.

What should have been recognized by now as a major contribution to the clarinet repertoire is the CD’s longest, most colourfully scored, most modern-sounding work – the 28-minute Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op.7 (1950) by Iain Hamilton (1922-2000). Propulsive, irregular, even jazzy rhythms contrast with long-lined, darkly melancholic lyricism, all calling for extreme virtuosity from the soloist, amply provided by Plane.

Another first recording ends the CD – Graham Parlett’s arrangement for clarinet and string orchestra of the warmly lyrical Fantasy Sonata (1943), originally for clarinet and piano, by John Ireland (1879-1962), a minor master deserving much greater exposure in North America.

Four fine works, exuberantly performed, making one truly pleasurable CD.

07 Blomstedt Brahms 1Brahms – Symphony No.1
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig; Herbert Blomstedt
PentaTone PTC5186850 (naxosdirect.com/search/827949085062)

At the risk of stranding ourselves in a past we’ll never relive, we continue to revisit masterpieces from over a century ago. This provides work for my fellow performers and me, and possibly keeps the public in touch with sonic masterpieces. We might ask ourselves, what is new and different in this latest iteration? Otherwise, is there any point?

I take enormous pleasure in hearing the fine Gewandhaus Orchestra, under Herbert Blomstedt, recraft Brahms’ titanic First Symphony in C Minor Op.68 into audible form. The performance has so much clarity and poise, nothing I write in response can mean much at all. 

I’m no collector of things, nor of recordings, but I am a repository of memories, and this piece remains on a prominent shelf in the room where professional reminiscence is housed. As a student, the experience of hearing the wonderful energy and intelligence of Brahms’ First fuelled my desire to be among the lucky few who might perform it in a professional setting. Knowing how long he took to knuckle down and live up to his billing as the next great symphonist after Beethoven inspires me to carry on at my advanced age. 

It is a fantastic rendition, as good as any out there I’m sure, and worth owning whether it is one among many, or your first (even only) version. The playing is pure, both delicate and yet powerful. Blomstedt asks for and receives fine and subtle performances from the entire band. 

The Andante sostenuto second movement is languid and deliciously melancholy. Add in the uplifting finale, with its wunderhorn call and its hymn answering Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and perhaps the troubles of today might be more bearable.

08 Alexandre Kantorow Brahms Bartok LisztBrahms; Bartók; Liszt
Alexandre Kantorow
Bis BIS-2380 (naxosdirect.com/search/bis-2380)

Young French pianist Alexandre Kantorow has already had a distinguished recording career with three award-winning releases. This recital is his first since winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019 and it too is a real winner. As a thought-provoking musician he now focuses on the Rhapsody, a thoroughly Romantic genre, invented by Liszt followed by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Sibelius etc. and into the modern era with Bartók and even Gershwin.

Kantorow is not looking for popular show pieces, although his program offers plenty of hair raising virtuosity. He starts off with a very effective rendition of the tempestuous Brahms Rhapsody No.1 demonstrating a virtuoso Romantic abandon, full of fire, but also a gentle lyricism in the middle part. Kantorow is a truly mature artist who belies his age as evidenced in the most ambitious work on the program, Brahms’ Piano Sonata No.2. This was the youthful composer’s first major piano work and it is full of rich musical ideas, opulent harmonies, yet under strict compositional rigour. It starts off with virtuoso double fortissimo octaves as its opening salvo. I love the Trio part of the Scherzo, Poco piu moderato – a wonderful melody that enchants the ear.

The second half is devoted to Hungarians. Young Bartók’s Rhapsody Op.1, which harks back to the Romantic era, and in tribute to Liszt, seems to revel in beautiful harmonies and evokes Gypsy music. Very much unlike the later avant-garde Bartók. The fiery second part is a wild Hungarian dance of amazing bravura. 

The disc ends spectacularly with Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 played with such amazing gusto that it will lift you up from your seat. A gorgeous recording.

10 Dunhill Erlanger Piano QuintetsDunhill & Erlanger – Piano Quintets
Piers Lane; Goldner String Quartet
Hyperion CDA68296 (hyperion-records.co.uk)

British composers Thomas Dunhill (1877-1946) and Baron Frédéric d’Erlanger (1868-1943) each wrote a piano quintet, both in four substantial movements. Until Australia’s pre-eminent Goldner Quartet and pianist Piers Lane recorded them for Hyperion, however, these late Romantic works were largely overlooked by the musical mainstream.

Born in Paris, d’Erlanger lived for most of his life in London where he worked in the family business as a banker. His biography further notes that he was “by inclination a patron of the arts, and through creativity a composer.” His opera, ballet, orchestra and chamber music scores were widely performed during his lifetime. D’Erlanger’s 1901 Quintet reflects Brahmsian and Dvořákian influences, as well as a distinctive tunefulness paired with lively rhythms, playful thematic flow and a sure feel for drama. The substantial piano part certainly adds heft to the string quartet writing imbued with an audio palm court aura, on the lighter side of the classical music spectrum.

Londoner Thomas Dunhill on the other hand, d’Erlanger’s contemporary, was a prolific career composer and professor of music. His C-Minor Quintet evokes earlier 19th-century musical idioms drawing on Robert Schumann’s scores, but it also echoes Elgar’s chamber music.

Part of this album’s interest is in the dual thrill of discovery and (musical) time travel: I had heard of neither composer before, nor of their century-old music. Early Edwardian chamber music seldom sounded as good, particularly when played this well.

01 rethinkreTHiNK
junctQin keyboard collective
Redshift Records TK479 (redshiftrecords.org)

Pianist Thomas Larcher once lamented that he was unable to “get away from the piano’s natural sound... with all the intensity that marks a musician’s relationship to his instrument.” He went on to equate “this sound” to “something worn out, obsolete…” 

Meanwhile, Elaine Lau, Joseph Ferretti and Stephanie Chua, collectively junctQín, have been toying with the instrument, with radical and experimental joy, since 2009. Their magical adventure takes place both on all the 88 keys as well as inside their respective pianos as they continue to bend and shape the 311-year-old (and counting) instrument to their will. reTHiNK is not only an appropriate title for their new selection of works, it might easily be seen as an ongoing one. The performances of junctQín, after all, are always evolving. This recording is sure to be remembered as being unique in their repertoire. 

On reTHiNK the trio dazzle the senses with an arresting performance. The captivating music fuses contemplative harmonies with innovative performance techniques. As a result, music as radically eloquent as Alfred Schnittke’s 1979 Hommage à Stravinsky, Prokofiev, & Shostakovich is not only re-imagined, but redefined in 21st-century terms. This is also true – perhaps more remarkably so – of Maurice Ravel’s 1918 work, Frontispice. The wonders never cease as junctQín teases out the mysteries of works by Finnish composer Tomi Räisänen and Canadians Monica Pearce, Emily Doolittle, Chris Thornborrow, Alex Eddington and Elisha Denburg in an embarrassment of riches.

02 venom of loveAlice Ping Yee Ho – Venom of Love
Alice Ping Yee Ho; Vania Chan; Patty Chan; Lulu
Leaf Music Digital (leaf-music.ca)

One of Canada’s most acclaimed composers, two-time JUNO nominee and Dora Mavor Moore Award winner for Outstanding Original Opera, Alice Ping Yee Ho, has gifted us with a gorgeous work that almost defies characterization. This 60-minute composition deals with elements of fantasy and eroticism from a primeval, magical world; a musical composition for ballet based on the Legend of the White Snake, one of China’s Four Great Folktales. 

The work is compiled as 20 tracks inside four acts, which serve to guide the listener along the extraordinary journey as we turn the pages of an epic-sized book of fantasy and desire, love and rivalry between mortals and spirits, and finally the ultimate sacrifice for eternal love. 

Fusing synthesized and acoustic instrumental sounds with soprano voice and percussion, this work is a dramatic dance/opera/musical theatre composition telling an ancient myth in contemporary form. The music sweeps us up so deftly we are captive travellers inside dripping caves; clusters of tonalities are richly layered with electronics and we imagine shimmering dragons, writhing snakes, and hear spectacular sounds of animals, bats and water, evoking the hues of brilliant blues, greens and greys. Of special mention is lyric coloratura soprano Vania Lizbeth Chan’s voice that somehow manages to hold warmth and charm while soaring at stratospheric heights.  

Commissioned by Toronto’s Little Pear Garden Dance Company in 2014, the music is so evocative I almost feel like I’ve already seen the ballet, but I’ll be sure to be in line for that production when it comes back to a live stage in the future.

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03 Jaap Nico HamburgerJaap Nico Hamburger – Piano Concerto
Assaff Weisman; Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal; Vincent de Kort
Leaf Music LM238 (leaf-music.ca)

Composer Jaap Nico Hamburger’s first CD release is a Leaf Music recording of his Piano Concerto performed by Orchestra Métropolitain de Montréal under the direction of Vincent de Kort, with soloist Assaff Weisman. Set in the traditional three-movement concerto form, the piece opens with a mysterious orchestral introduction where the piano is welcomed into the texture through a Mahlerian sensibility. The second movement unmistakably recalls Prokofiev in its playfulness and tricky rhythmic attitudes. This almost schizophrenic hyperactivity is interrupted by a serene landscape evoking tragedy or loss. The boisterous activity quickly returns to provide somewhat of a rollercoaster for the listener. Throughout the third movement, sparse bells and undulating strings paint a menacing atmosphere for the final moments of the piece. 

Weisman handles the virtuosic writing with extreme touch and sensitivity. With the concerto being only 22 minutes, one is perhaps left wanting more of a featured moment for the pianist, such as a cadenza – especially considering the fact that the piece is in the traditional three-movement form. The orchestra and soloist deliver a top-notch performance of a work that will please those who enjoy new sounds created in a Late-Romantic style.

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04 Cheryl Frances HoadCheryl Frances-Hoad – The Whole Earth Dances
Various Artists
Champs Hill Records CHRCD152 (champshillrecords.co.uk)

This, the second Champs Hill CD of chamber music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad (b.1980), a much-performed British composer in all genres, features nine works dating from 1998 to 2017, none longer than 14 minutes. Short – but not sweet!

This music, although seemingly easy to follow, is anything but easy listening. Eschewing prettiness and warmth, these pieces’ beauties are austere and angst-ridden. Within predominantly slow tempi, strong accents mark the ways forward, but the clearly defined instrumental lines wander uncertainly amid unclear, undefined tonal centres.

The disquiet thus produced reflects Frances-Hoad’s imagery in describing her compositions: “so much of the Earth is being polluted, fracked and deforested” (the CD’s title piece, The Whole Earth Dances, for piano quintet including a double bass, as in Schubert’s Trout); “a dystopian future in which the technology we have come to rely upon kills us” (Game On for piano and electronics); “I incorporated the Dies Irae plainchant – Day of Wrath – as a reminder of the inevitable” (The Prophecy for cello and piano); “a women who kills her two children to spite her husband” (Medea for solo flute); “[Dante’s] description of sinners submerged neck-deep in rivers of boiling blood” (My Day in Hell for string quartet).

Disturbing, uncomfortable, but always holding my attention, these works often reminded me of the sparse, haunted atmosphere of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. If you’re in the mood for feeling moody, you’ll enjoy this CD, as I did.

05 Kontogiorgos CentaursGeorge Kontogiorgos – Dancing with Centaurs
Stathis Mavrommatis; Orchestra of Colours; Miltos Logiadis
Naxos 8.579047 (naxosdirect.com/search/747313904778)

Composer George Kontogiorgos’ illustrious tonal melodies highlight this Global Music Award-winning release with four works inspired by Greek traditional songs/mythologies, juxtaposing tonal and atonal sounds, pentatonic scales, Romanticism, minimalism, jazz and pop soundscapes. Saxophonist Stathis Mavrommatis and pianist Christina Panteli rise to the occasion to master and perform these dense, challenging, stylistically diverse works with technical and musical aplomb!

The ten-movement Dancing with Centaurs (2014), for soprano saxophone and piano, superimposes ancient Hellenic traditional music ideas with Romantic tonality to musically describe these Greek mythical creatures. The second movement Idyllic starts with fast descending piano lines and then smooth sax notes lead to more tonal song-like melodies. The third movement, Dancing with Centaurs, is folk-flavoured with subtle tango undertones and high-pitched squeaky sax. There is a breathtaking change in mood by a slower, reflective sax solo and piano chords in Meditation. Jazz undertones, repeated single sax tones and marching piano groove add to the atmosphere in Battle of the Centaurs.

Ringtone (2016) for alto saxophone and piano is an amusing take, with simple cyclical melodic sax and piano lines mimicking different phones ringing simultaneously. Concertino “Testosterone” (2015) adds a string section to the duo. Solo alto sax Night Walk (2017) has a free improv jazz feel and slight tonal pitch changes at ends of phrases.

Kontogiorgos’ understanding of his personal musical influences and the infrequently heard saxophone/piano instrumentation along with great playing makes for illuminating listening.

06 DesordreDésordre: György Ligeti – Etudes; Trio
Eric Huebner; Yuki Numata Resnick; Adam Unsworth
New Focus Recordings FCR269 (newfocusrecordings.com)

For American piano marvel Eric Huebner, myriad talents have ignited a multi-faceted career of unwavering performance prowess, equal in measure as soloist, chamber player and orchestral pianist. Huebner remains one of the most active keyboardists of his generation and if you don’t already know his work, you really should.

A latest release featuring music by György Ligeti offers a homecoming of a kind. Fiendishly demanding contemporary repertoire has always been Huebner’s specialty but at the heart of his musical muse is a longstanding association with Ligeti. Huebner believes the Études to represent “an entirely new musical language… fusing together disparate elements.” Ligeti came to challenge himself – his own compositional craft – later in life when he penned these works. 

Remarkably at home in these scores, Huebner puts his dazzling arsenal of abilities on full display, sculpting timescales and wielding rhythmic idiosyncrasies all with a veteran expertise and panache. His is a deft touch, keenly born of an exceptional musical ear and fine sense for textural expression (arguably a prerequisite in the successful interpretation of any piece by Ligeti). Rising to the challenges, Huebner writes of “laying bare the music’s intricacies and keeping pace with its extreme technical demands while expressing its joy, poignancy and, at times, melancholy.” 

Ligeti’s horn trio reveals even more of the composer’s unusual universe. It is a cosmos that glimmers benevolently in the care of dedicated artists like Huebner, Yuki Numata Resnick and Adam Unsworth.

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