Tour de Force: review in Kathodlk
As the title of this newest release by Albany Records promises, it is a real tour de force for the bravissima American pianist Eliza Garth. The series of thirteen preludes written by Sheree Clement over almost forty years (!) surprisingly draw a rather uniform parable, characterized by a progressive traversal beyond the boundaries of tonality to arrive at a harmonically harsh language, though not without moments of contemplative and introspective beauty. La Clement loves to work with quick figures of notes that run in very complex rhythmic passages, to be often hampered by abrupt interruptions or impervious detours. If I had to mention a reference for these works, I would summon Elliott Carter's Night Fantasies. Equally virtuosic, although very distant from the stylistic point of view, is the composition Of Points Fixed and Fluid by Perry Goldstein, an author who likes to juxtapose musical materials of a different character and style, sometimes opposite - in the manner of Stravinsky or, more recently, Fitkin -, developing them separately and then colliding them, triggering dense and tension-rich dynamics. In this case, the contrast is between a hypnotic sequence of repeated notes and a set of syncopated figures that recall jazz. The way in which Goldstein applies this technique is personal and remarkable, as demonstrated also in other previous compositions (I am thinking, for example, of the Blow saxophone quartet). In this case, the conclusion is less pacified and leaves something (deliberately) unresolved, even in the context of a precise formal design. Eliza Garth moves at ease in such diverse expressive worlds, which demonstrate the vitality of contemporary music, especially American, for piano.