08 Vintage AmericanaVintage Americana
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Navona Records nv6384 (navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6384)

The towering Canadian piano virtuoso Christina Petrowska Quilico performs six works on her latest release, Vintage Americana. This absorbing display of musicianship leaves no doubt that she can interpret works from any compositional aesthetic with world-class execution. Lowell Liebermann’s Apparitions is an anguished work with abundant opportunity for expressive interpretation and Quilico brings a very personal touch to phrasing the work. The four Fantasy Pieces by David Del Tredici highlight her range on the instrument. The Turtle and the Crane composed by Frederic Rzewski is a whirling flurry of repeated notes and rising harmonic pillars that are continuously interrupted by tip-toeing islands of contrasting moods that seem to be menacingly at odds with the more mechanical material.  

In a work by the only Canadian on the disc, American ex-pat David Jaeger delivers a substantial tone poem of considerable expression and artistic depth. Utilizing electronics in the work, Jaeger produces highly compelling and dramatic atmospheres, drawing the listener into a dark sonic landscape. Titled Quivi Sospiri (taken from the third canto of Dante’s Inferno), Jaeger depicts a shadowy journey through a series of remarkably cogent moments of piano wizardry above deep and enigmatic electronic ambiences. 

Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronism No.6 (also using electronics) is a brilliant work. The immediately arresting nature of artistic expression gives pause and it is no wonder this work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. Petrowska Quilico performs Davidovsky’s masterpiece with stunning mastery and her interpretation can easily be considered among the most significant among the many recordings of this important work. In her seemingly inexhaustible efforts toward releasing recordings of the highest quality, Petrowska Quilico delvers yet another gift for our ears.

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Author: Adam Scime
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