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Ensemble Dal Niente
New Focus Recordings FCR308 (newfocusrecordings.com)

The Chicago based Ensemble Dal Niente releases a collection of works that were streamed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With each work offering a variety of experimental techniques and sound worlds, this music reveals the ensemble’s incredible musical abilities. Igor Santos’ confined. speak. is a post-Lachenmannian work that explores themes of “confinement and liberation.” Santos’ music is carefully crafted and contains an impressive series of magical events. The harp concerto of Hilda Paredes, titled Demente Cuerda, contains endless virtuosic gestures for both soloist and ensemble members – all of which are expertly performed. With Tomás Gueglio’s Triste y madrigal we receive a delicate and mysterious soprano part amid outlandish restlessness in the ensemble – a beautifully enigmatic work. In Merce and Baby by George Lewis, the composer creates an imagined musical scenario that exists only in the documentation of a collaboration between jazz drummer Baby Dodds and avant-garde dancer Merce Cunningham in the 1940s. Finally, Andil Khumalo’s Beyond Her Mask is a disturbing and important statement that confronts violence against women in South Africa. Ensemble Dal Niente delivers stunning performances of works that truly speak to our time.

Listen to 'confined. speak.' Now in the Listening Room

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