MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
57,473reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

 

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Cat HOPE (b. 1966)
Ephemeral Rivers
Miss Fortune X for AM radio, viola, cello, piano and cymbals (2012) [7:07]
Cruel and Usual, for string quartet, live electronics and four bass amplifiers (2011) [8:03]
Broken Approach, for bass drum kit, AM radios and wind-up mechanisms (2014) [12:02]
Dynamic Architecture 1, for solo double bass and electronics (2015) [21:36]
Sogno 102, for bass clarinet, bass flute, viola, cello, piano and live electronics (2013) [7:02]
Miss Fortune X, Sogno 102: Decibel
Cruel and Usual: Zachary Johnston (violin), Lizzy Welsh (violin), Phoebe Grey (viola), Judith Hamman (cello), Samuel Dunscombe (electronics)
Broken Approach: Vanessa Tomlinson (percussion soloist)
Dynamic Architecture 1: Mark Cauvin (bass soloist)
rec. 2014-15 Soundfield Studio; 2011 North Melbourne Town Hall (Cruel and Usual)
HAT[Now]ART 200 [55:53]

I must admit that the name, never mind the music of Cat Hope is new to me, also that my twenty year old son described part of it as the sound of a dying orchestra, but his concept of classical music was somewhat spoiled by an unimaginative Music GCSE syllabus. She is an Australian composer, musician and academic and one of the leading lights of the Australian contemporary music scene. She is a kind of conceptual artist, but one working in sound rather than the visual arts, who is probably best known for her noise installations and as a performance artist, having been part of or co-founded various ensembles specialising in the performance of her music and that of other contemporary composers, indeed she performs the flute part on Sogno 102 on this recording. She is also part of the team that developed the Decibel Score Player, a graphic music player app for the iPad, examples of which can be seen online.

Her music, as represented on this disc, is largely composed for chamber sized ensembles, although the sound she creates is on a larger scale than one would expect from her limited palette, this is mainly due to her innovative use of electronics. For example in the first piece on this disc, Miss Fortune X, which is named after the radio controlled model aeroplane built by her father, Hope employs the white noise or static of an FM radio to produce the sound of the model, whilst the more conventional instruments of the two, the piano and cymbals, are played in an unconventional manner, the strings of the piano being played directly whilst the cymbals are often played by a bow, the resulting sound world being quite mesmerising.

Hope has a fascination with bass sounds and this is illustrated in the next piece, Cruel and Usual, a title referring to the use of solitary confinement in US prisons, pits a string quartet against live electronics that sample and distort the quartet's musical line and play it back at a much lower register through the bass amplifiers, and as a self confessed string quartet addict, who has recordings of works for string quartet and live electronics, I find this piece the most fascinating.

In the next piece, Broken Approach, the FM radio reappears as does the bass register, although this time through a bass drum kit with the juxtaposition of the static and the percussive elements at times being both exciting and interesting, the addition of the wind up alarms giving aspects of finality to the music.

The longest and most recent of the works on this disc is, I think, my favourite; Dynamic Architecture 1 is scored for double bass and electronics. Here the instrument is laid on its back and played with three bows, one of which has had the usual horse hair replaced with a guitar string, whilst the electronics are played by the score player mentioned above through the double bass by placing a transducer under the fingerboard. It opens with long sustained drones which are reminiscent to that achieved by that archetypal of all Australian instruments, the didgeridoo yet with the rich and dark harmonic sonorities and the string instrument. This piece is over twenty minutes long but never overstays its welcome.

The final work on this disc, Sogno 102, a kind of homage to the twentieth century Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, the instrumentalists, including the composer on bass flute, are sampled in real time and played back to once again distort and enhance the sound, I admit to this being the piece my son heard and did not like, although he had sat there and listened intently to Dynamic Architecture 1, and here we have the point, not all will like this music on this disc, but the way that Cat Hope explores and even develops totally new and exciting sound worlds is the value of this disc.

This is an enjoyable disc of music which is both challenging and enthralling, one which is not just an academic experiment, but one that offers the listener something new. The performances are all excellent, as are the notes by Christopher Fox and Cat Hope who writes short introductions to each piece. This is an ideal introduction to the music and philosophy of one of Australian leading contemporary musicians and performers.

Stuart Sillitoe

Previous review: Jonathan Woolf

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1