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Edith CANAT DE CHIZY (b. 1950)
Tiempo (1999)a
Irisations (1999)b
Moving (2001)a
Vivere (2001)c
Hallel (1991)a
Danse de líaube (1998)d
Diego Tosi (violin)b; Marc Siffert (double bass)d; Trio à cordes de Parisa; Quatuor Parisiic
Recorded: Auditorium du Conservatoire Charles Munch, Paris, April 2002 (Tiempo, Moving, Hallel, Danse), July 2002 (Vivere) and September 2002 (Irisations)
ÆON AECD 0210 [60:10]


Some time ago, I enthusiastically reviewed a recording of some of Edith Canat de Chizyís orchestral music (Timpani 1C1048). This included a superb work for string orchestra as well as her magnificent Violin and Cello Concertos. Here is another release with more of her music, in this case chamber music. This is for strings, a medium for which she writes most idiomatically. Of course her early training was as a violinist. Her trios for strings were composed over the decade 1991-2001, and fully demonstrate the extent to which her mastery of the medium has developed. The basic components of her mature music are already clearly displayed in Hallel, her first string trio completed in 1991 and the earliest work here. The recent pieces, however, exhibit a still greater assurance and a greater freedom acquired over the years. Hallel, i.e. the Angel of Appeal in the Hebrew tradition, opens with an energetic, arresting gesture marked Violent, panting. This will later be contrasted with more expectant sections creating a constant interplay of powerful jubilation and anxious expectancy. The string writing in the First Trio is predominantly homophonic, much more so than in the other ones. The Second Trio Tiempo, completed in 1999, is indirectly inspired by a poem by Federico García Lorca evoking Time and Eternity. As a result, the music is full of flights of fancy interrupted by short pauses or spiralling back to ostinato figures acting as pedal points. The music, while preserving most of Canat de Chizyís hallmarks, moves with great freedom and even greater assurance. The most recent trio Moving, completed as recently as 2001, confirms the composerís full mastery of the medium. The title, implying both meanings of the word, reflects the overall mood of the piece and the nature of the music. This again moves effortlessly with much energy and imagination while retaining real expressive power. As I remarked in my previous review, expression is paramount to Canat de Chizy and her strong intellectual grip on the material never obscures her will to communicate.

Vivere, her first string quartet, also composed in 2001, consolidates the composerís mature music making, in that she now feels free to compose without any further reference than her own mind and heart. That she is now full master of her trade is evident in the brilliant, often subtle writing for strings and in the joyfully exuberant drive of the music.

The same characteristics are also displayed in Irisations for solo violin and in Danse de líaube for solo double bass. The former, written as a test piece for the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, is a theme and variations in all but name, exploiting the many facets of modern violin writing without ever falling into the trap of mere virtuoso display. It cleverly eschews all the usual "tricks and gimmicks". This is a demanding piece but one also making demands on the playerís sensitivity. The latter (the title refers to Jacobís dance as mentioned in Genesis 32:24) is appropriately playful and robustly dancing, with much imaginative writing.

The works featured here display all the qualities abounding in the orchestral works in the Timpani disc. In spite of the wide ranging experience gained in her formal training with Ivo Malec and at the G.R.M., Canat de Chizy has developed her own personal sound-world and communicates her own vision in personal terms. Her music, sometimes complex, sometimes direct, always communicates in strong expressive terms. These chamber works, though somewhat more austere than the orchestral ones already mentioned, nevertheless display some robust, joyfully dancing music making of great energy and very often of great beauty. If you have heard the Timpani disc, you will need no further recommendation to investigate the present release. If you do not, then, the Timpani is the one to start with. I am sure, you will then want to hear this one. Excellent performances and very fine recorded sound, a trademark of this new French label exploring much unfamiliar, but always interesting, byways of French contemporary music. Efforts such as these are to be wholeheartedly encouraged. My record of the month, anyway.

Hubert Culot

Robust, joyfully dancing music making of great energy and very often of great beauty Ö see Full Review



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