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Intelligent discourse

Chamber music by George Nicholson -
explored by PETER DALE

'This disc ... deserves more than merely passing attention.'

Letters to the World - music by George Nicholson (p) 2000 Metier Sound & Vision

 

Spring Songs, the little suite of five pieces for treble recorder that opens this disc, lives up to its title. The perennial freshness of that instrument's voice is delightful, but there is also a freshness about what Nicholson does with it in exploring its tonal resources, making it sing (as it does so naturally anyway), and exacting a remarkable athleticism from it too [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:30].

Then follows a group of three pieces for piano which reflect upon three recently dead jazz musicians: Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Gerry Mulligan. They are elegiac, ruminative and, despite their underlying discipline, essentially rhapsodic. Peter Lawson's playing is many-coloured but the prevailing wistful melancholy is especially affecting [listen -- track 8, 1:54-2:29].

Nodus, for Clarinet and Piano, plays with the idea of intertwining two voices until they become 'knotted'. A most intelligent discourse develops between the two instruments. Nicholson uncovers an extraordinary degree of sympathy -- or even of tonal identity, unlikely though that might seem -- between the two. It's a very interesting piece indeed [listen -- track 9, 2:14-2:55].

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Copyright © 10 February 2002 Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - METIER MSV CD92062

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