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The disc opens with Atacama Sonata for flute and piano -- a work inspired by the Atacama desert of Chile. Both of the performers for whom this work were written (and who record it on the disc) are Chilean. The opening and closing movements -- Capricho and Volante -- burst with bounding rhythms, modal inflections, and a uncontainable zest. The most impressive part of the work however, is the middle movement, Nocturno which is subtitled 'in memory of the missing' -- written in memory of those political dissidents who were 'lost' forever in the Atacama desert. This movement -- using the full color palate of the flute (including 'whistle tones') is extremely moving and distinctly evocative. This reviewer cannot think of a more effective piece of 'desert' landscape chamber music [listen -- track 2, 4:45-5:50].

Inquiet Spirits is Galbraith's second string quartet. Her first quartet is structurally a more traditional three movement affair. This second quartet, however, is a compressed single movement dominated primarily by music of intense vigor and truly explosive energy. A beautiful and lyrical middle interlude provides a brief respite amid music of unabating virtuosity. One could not imagine a more committed and exciting performance of this work than the one given by Cuarteto Latinoamericano, for whom the piece was especially written [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:12].

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Copyright © 1 October 2003 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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