Chamber music by George Nicholson -
explored by PETER DALE
'This disc ... deserves more than merely passing attention.'
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].
Copyright © 10 February 2002
Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - METIER MSV CD92062
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