As we know from Beata Moon’s previous CDs
her music is unfailingly melodic and unerringly emotional. By all means
have a look at how we have received her previously: piano music on Naxos
and a selection of her Albany CDs (review
Dinner is West
is a piano trio in eight little movements. These
range through various brands of delight that veer between a hint of
minimalism in the ostinatos, open-air Copland-like Americana, ear-tickling
rhythmic invention, frosty romanticism, early-Fauré cantabile,
a touch of syncopation and smiling rhapsodic serenading. It is by no
means boneless either. Wood, Water & Land
is for solo marimba.
It’s catchy, conspiratorial, confiding and conspicuously virtuosic.
There are plenty of lovely subtle touches, as in the way the music almost
murmurs at 1:50 - quite a feat for a percussion instrument.
is for cello and piano. Its three movements are big-hearted
and pulsatingly dramatic and rhapsodic - progress feels instinctive
and the instincts are good. A healthy sense of movement courses through
which is for viola, clarinet and piano. Its clarinet
line occasionally seems to reference Nyman’s Where the Bee
and none the worse for that. The end is thoughtfully inconclusive.
The music-making and imagination at play in the Dickinson Songs
pay an individual homage to a style very familiar from Barber’s
songs. The Dickinson Songs
are as quirky as the words they set.
The witty and zany I Felt a Funeral
is truly memorable as also
is the extremely engaging Hope is the thing with feathers
Moon surprises with A Collage of Memories
for violin and piano.
The libation of dissonance, disconnect and hysteria is stronger in the
first two pieces than elsewhere. The third, Reflective
, has the
rounded passion and poetry of Tenancy
. In the last two pieces
we meet an exotically dank mix of RVW’s Lark
plus elements that are loose-limbed and bluesy.
I loved the name of the last piece in the sequence: Campy, ma non
. The Rhapsody
for solo piano is played by the composer
- she is the pianist throughout. It comes from the part of Moon’s
glossary that accommodates big-hearted dramatic romance alongside fragments
that recalled Einaudi - but there is more active detailing here.
There is nothing here to harm and much to bless yet Moon manages to
steer clear of the land of bland.
You can hear the composer talking about her music here
and her own website
further insights alongside those in the fold out ‘sleeve’.
Criticise this disc because it runs for under an hour but the music
assuredly pleases: a tirelessly sincere and touching combination of
song, drama and dance.
Full Contents List
Dinner is West
for violin, cello and piano (2005)
1 First Impressions 2:34
2 "God Laughs" 3:07
3 Juxtaposin 2:22
4 "The Night Watch" 1:59
5 Form with Circumstance 1:50
6 "A Dream" 2:12
7 Curtain Call 1:24
Wood, Water & Land 4:40
for cello and piano (2011)
9 Reflective; Expansive 4:48
10 Playful 2:14
11 Lyrical 4:21
for viola, clarinet and piano (2010) 4:16
for soprano and guitar (2006)
13 I'm nobody! Who are you? 0:49
14 The bustle in a house 1:00
15 I felt a Funeral, in my Brain 2:47
16 Hope is the thing with feathers 2:00
A Collage of Memories
for violin and piano (2005)
17 Dramatic; intense 1:17
18 Rambunctious 1:18
19 Reflective 2:32
20 Intro; freer 1:50
21 Campy, ma non troppo 2:19
for solo piano (2009) 4:22