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Peter MACHAJDÍK (b.1961)
Flowing into the Unknown
Kirin for two pianos (2003) [9:05]
Deserted Tracks for cello and piano (2002) [8:14]
Solstice for cello and harp (2000) [8:26]
Flowing Into the Unknown for oboe, violin and piano (2002) [13:42]
Obscured Temptations for piano (2003) [7:16]
Lullaby for piano (1999) [2:32]
Mayuko Kida, Daniel Garel (piano) (Kirin)
Kristina Lesičká (cello), Mayuko Kida (piano) (Deserted Tracks)
Josef Lupták (cello), Adriana Antalová (harp)
Dominik Melichárek (oboe), Zuzana Uškovicová (violin), Mayuko Kida (piano) (Flowing)
Daniel Garel (piano) (Obscured)
Josef Lupták (cello) (Lullaby)
rec. Slovak Radio, Bratislava. DDD
EDITION HUDBA N81 0003 2 131 [50:47]

Machajdík's music is tonal-melodic, spare to the point of minimal but without the iterative persistence of Reich or the pummelling rhythmics of Nyman. Notes and chords are sounded and pecked at then left to resound.

In the case of this ‘home-made’ but nice-sounding CD the musicians are recorded at close quarters. In Kirin the spareness ushers in a brief moment of precious rhythmic animation - a little birth for which all those stele-like lonely chords are a sort of birth.

Obscured Temptations is a sequence of three short piano solos - static, enigmatic ... with a steady and simple beauty. Deserted Tracks has a greater sense of melodic continuum borne along by the singing cello. The piano provides the staccato contrast while the cello resonantly sings its song. The cello solo reminded me of the 'easier' Peter Maxwell Davies with its long lyrical breaths and tinge of folk-landscape melancholy.

Solstice for cello and harp has Machajdík’s trademark infusion of static address especially very early in the piece. Later there is a much more animated fast-flowing episode providing contrast to these sphinx-like melodic cells. The instruments are not a combination I would immediately have thought congruent but they work well in this context - tribute to executants and composer.

Flowing into the Unknown is the most substantial piece here. Its simple gracious way takes added savour from the combination of instruments. The music gives that sense of a slow motion flowering, Bachian at one level, folksy at another, pentatonic and Slav. More Nyman-like, this piece drifts towards Schnittke's Spiegel im Spiegel and pristine contemplation.

Aside from some roughnesses in the trio piece these pieces seem skilfully and, more to the point, sensitively put across.

You now know what to expect from this composer who has had many artistic residencies and commissions. He is highly active in the field of dance, theatre and visual arts.

Rob Barnett

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