<< -- 4 -- Jennifer Paull SINGLE VOICE
Between the Britten and the Peaceman, works of such different styles, there is a much more simple and beautifully contrasting work, Amarilla mia Bella by Jacob Van Eyk (1589 or 1590-1657). The composer is best known today for his works for recorder. He was a blind musician from Utrecht in The Netherlands. This is a theme and two variations, which take the listener from the inspiration of the Roman poet through its own context of early music on to World War II in the twentieth century. The softness of tone colour of the baroque oboe in comparison to the works it juxtaposes, underlines the daring stylistic parameters explored by the oboist on this 'extremely personal undertaking'.
Sililoquy IIb was written by José Jesus de Azevedo Souza (born 1967). Originally intended for contemporary oboe, Matthew Peaceman asked the composer to rework it to fit the compass of the baroque oboe as he was planning concerts of contemporary music on historical instruments. How I applaud that idea! Here is another lens, another optic; the music of today performed on the instrumental copy of an oboe from the time of the baroque. It is a very pleasing piece, and in Sililoquy IIb Revisited yet another lens, that of technology, makes the original become something entirely new and complete within itself. Thus a new sound with a multifaceted polyphony lends the original work new depth. This is a brilliant idea and shows the versatility of Peaceman's imagination [listen -- track 14, 0:00-1:15].
Daniel Plante (born 1955) has been a friend of Matthew Peaceman's for nearly thirty five years. His Serenade was composed for him towards the end of the 1970s. In Peaceman's own words, Plante is, 'A brilliant composer, researcher and music analyst but unfortunately not very prolific. I have tried to give this piece a different sound by playing it on baroque oboe rather than modern, as was originally intended and we were both pleased with the result. "Serenade Revisited" was again an experiment with polyphonic solo playing.'
From antiquity to the technology of today via the baroque or the modern instrument: the ancient voice in a contemporary setting, or the modern in one of yesterday -- this CD with its variety of pieces and acoustics fits the kaleidoscope of such an accomplished musician. I am at a loss to imagine who else could have conceived, performed, composed, experimented and recorded such 'an extremely personal undertaking'. Such versatility is the possession of a rare few.
'An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.' --
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)