Creating A Landscape
Shrinking Planet Productions SPP 0089 (www.creatingalandscape.com)
Sometimes the planets align, and fortune favours the bold. These sayings only partially do justice to Réa Beaumont, who takes command of the stage of Glenn Gould Studio with a stunning set of contemporary piano works.
Opening with Arvo Pärt’s groundbreaking tintinnabular work Für Alina, the dynamic continues to remain below mezzo piano for an astonishing 13 minutes. Cage’s very early In a Landscape, played as it was written with no prepared piano devices, rounds out this episode. As you proceed through the works, the material grows gradually denser and more adventurous. Beaumont chose another early work, Colin McPhee’s Op. 1 Piano Sketches from 1916, showing the composer in great form before his exposure to the gamelan. Barbara Pentland’s relatively late (1983) Vincula is an adventurous bit of polyphony, and sensitively played. Chan Ka Nin cascades arpeggiated lines in Vast. Brent Lee’s Subjective Geometries restores the tranquility. The surprise ending is Anton Kuerti’s 6-movement Six Arrows (1974) in a thoroughly 20th century idiom, far removed from anything remotely related to Beethoven.
Beaumont handles all this repertoire with enviable ease. Glenn Gould Studio’s hand-picked Steinway D274 is sensitively recorded by the legendary team of Jaeger and Quinney, with help from Dennis Patterson. The recorded sound is not “in your face”, but nonetheless you can clearly hear subtle nuances of pedalling. You absolutely must hear this.