There was never a chance that Emily D’Angelo’s solo recital at Koerner Hall was going to be a steady procession of German lieder and French chansons with the odd Broadway number thrown in and it wasn’t. It was what D’Angelo fans would expect and (some of us at least) crave; lots of women composers and lots of contemporary music. There were five sets.
The first linked Hildegard von Bingen, Arnold Schoenberg and Missy Mazzoli. I’m going to focus on the Mazzoli. There was “Hello Lord” from Vespers for a New Dark Age and “You Are the Dust” from Songs from the Uproar. Both of these are stage works scored for chamber ensemble and electronics so they sound very different in piano score. Emily sang the with great purity and clarity and Sophia accompanied beautifully though there’s just no way one can capture the synth pop inflections of Mazzoli on piano. That said, it was a great advert for two works a I really admire. Continue reading →
the script of storms is a new record of music by Michael Hersch. It contains two pieces; each just under thirty minutes long. The first, cortex and ankle, sets fragments of poems by Christopher Middleton. The general theme is death and decay so it’s not exactly cheerful. It was written for the Klang Ensemble and is scored for their combination of saxophones, trombone, keyboards, percussion, guitar and electronics plus soprano; in this case Ah Young Hong. The vocal line is mostly high sustained notes sung with little or no vibrato though at times it becomes speech or near speech. The accompaniment varies from extremely sparse; just the occasional note from the piano, to quite dense and sometimes abrasive and dissonant. The overall effect is quite disturbing. The recording was made in the Jurrianse Zaal (Rotterdam) in 2016.