Oxingale OX2016 www.oxingale.com
Matt Haimovitz’s new solo program and CD title were inspired by American composer Elliott Carter (still with us at 100!) and his two Figments for solo cello, but the disc features a wide range of new works for cello alone or cello and electronics by established and emerging composers from Canada and the USA. Three of the works are from 2009, and five are recorded here for the first time.
The short but impressive Carter pieces were the strongest for me; in fact, I found myself preferring the non-electronic tracks throughout the CD – Ana Sokolovic’s Vez, Gilles Tremblay’s Cedres en Voile, Steven Stucky’s Dialoghi and Luna Pearl Woolf’s Sarabande all having “something to say”.
The other pieces, by Serge Provost, the Montreal-based musician/producer Socalled, and - especially - the two Du Yun works, came across less successfully, at least on initial listenings.
There is no indication of whether or not there were any improvisational or aleatoric aspects to the performances.
Unfortunately, there were no booklet notes with the digipak (although these are available on-line at www.oxingale.com). Also, the gaps between CD tracks are often way too short - as little as 3 or 4 seconds at times. Given the stops and pauses in many of the works it’s sometimes hard to tell where one piece ends and the next begins.
Haimovitz, however, is in great form, in a value-for-money CD that packs in almost 80 minutes of music.
Concert Note: Matt Haimovitz’ “Figment” tour stops in Toronto at the Music Gallery on November 8.