One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from
The Transcendentalist
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Prelude, Op.16 no. 1 in B major [2:48]
Prelude, Op.11 no. 21 in B flat major [1:17]
John CAGE (1912-1992)
Dream (1948) [9:03]
Alexander SCRIABIN
Guirlandes, Op.73 no. 1 [4:15]
Prelude, Op.31 no. 1 in D flat major [2:28]
Prelude, Op.39 no. 3 in G major [1:23]
Prelude, Op.15 no. 4 in E major [1:11]
Scott WOLLSCHLEGER (b. 1980)
Music Without Metaphor (2013) [6:50]
Alexander SCRIABIN
Rêverie, Op.49 no. 3 [1:10]
Poème languide, Op.52 no. 3 [1:36]
John CAGE
In a Landscape (1948) [9:30]
Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987)
Palais de Mari (1986) [22:37]
Ivan Ilić (piano)
rec. September and November 2013, Salle Cortot, Paris.
HERESY RECORDS HERESY015 [64:00]

Transcendentalism is the connective thread that binds together this recital. The conceit is detailed in the booklet notes, and the conceptual link by which Cage, Feldman and Scott Wollschleger are bound to Scriabin is pursued there with sometimes plausible, sometimes ambiguous reasoning. Mysticisim, Zen Buddhism, synaesthesia (Wollschleger’s) are all mooted; the emotive states, however, remain relatively constant – introspection and contemplation.
 
In a similar spirit, Ivan Ilić approaches each composer with a sure sense of his music’s colour and sound-world. Feldman’s Palais de Mari confides ‘piano’ – there is a severe retrenchment from anything that draws attention to itself, and dynamics are dampened. The brief and fragmentary elements involve thoughtful use of the sustaining pedal, and those few moments of chordal prominence are judged with great acuity. Allusive romanticism plays its part here, acknowledged or not, which playing of this refinement does little to disguise. Recordings of this work by Siegfried Mauer (on Kairos) and Sabine Leibner on an all-Feldman 2-CD set on Oehms, explore similar avenues, but Ilić’s touch is second to none.
 
John Cage’s In A Landscape is a piece of pre-cast concrete, as it were. It was composed to fit a pre-conceived rhythmic structure, the inspiration being Satie. Typically hypnotic, the modal coloration is perfectly realised here, as it is in the more ambiguous stance adopted in Cage’s Dream, where transparency alludes to Satie but may also be seen to be the inheritor of Scriabin’s mystic offerings. Wollschleger’s Music without Metaphor dates from as recently as 2013, and is a work that is actively static. A second-generation Feldman pupil – he studied with Nils Vigeland, whom Feldman greatly admired – he charts his own course, one in which elegant refinement is strongly prominent.
 
The putative head of the transcendentalist chain here is Scriabin and Ilić has chosen cannily amongst his portfolio of pieces for music that reflects - and does not contradict - the conceit. Invariably he has avoided the sonatas and incendiary pieces, preferring works, sequenced throughout the disc, that offer quieter, more concentrated and introspective allusions. Whether or not Scriabin and the example of Satie’s repeating Vexations prove to be uppermost in your mind, following this recital one cannot but admire Ilić’s idiomatic grip.
 
Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Kirk McElhearn