YITZHAK YEDID (b.1971): Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed for 14 Musicians, YOTAM HABER (b.1976): Estro Poetico-armonico III for Mezzo-Soprano, 15 Musicians and Audio Playback, KEIKO DEVAUX (b.1982): Arras for 14 Musicians, PIERRE MERCURE (1927-1966): Dissidence (arr. for Soprano and 14 Musicians Jonathan Monro [b.1974]).
Catalogue Number: 01X058
Reference: AN2 9263
Description: This fascinating programme is about as multicultural as it gets. The Azrieli Foundation exists "to promote music as a vital human endeavour that allows humankind to express its creativity; to expand its worldview; and to foster positive cultural exchanges." Their awards committee "accepts nominations for works from individuals and institutions of all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds and affiliations." Hence this diverse collection of recent works. Yedid's idiom fuses modern concert music with jazz and improvisation, in a textbook example of Gunther Schuller's concept of "Third Stream" music. The piece was "inspired by the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – that holy yet explosive place, sacred to Muslims and Jews alike". Eclectic to a fault, the music radiates a sense of untamed, visceral energy, at times exploding into free-jazz cacophony, but turning on a dime to pivot to propulsive machine music, or bringing a raucous shofar or a klezmer clarinet into the mix. Sometimes the music is very tonal; sometimes inflected by middle-eastern modes (as in the rustic dances in part one, or the long meditation that dominates part two); sometimes as atonal as any avant-garde composition; some explosions of terrorised conflict defy classification. The whole is a great deal more than this description of its components suggests; the work is like a huge canvas teeming with abstract and figurative imagery yielding an overall vision both tumultuous and precise. Haber's Estro Poetico-armonico III is part of a series of works exploring the history of Rome's Jewish community. The work brings together ethnomusicological recordings of traditional cantillation and liturgical texts and settings of texts by modern Israeli poets that reflect upon aspects of modern Israeli life while also grappling with its history. When combined in duet, the live and recorded voices calling to each other across the centuries are profoundly moving. The composer’s idiom is a sonorous blend of tonality, strikingly used, with colouristic dissonance and timbre. Devaux's title means a richly woven tapestry, and that is exactly what the music sounds like. Like the other two prize-winning composers, she comes from an amazingly diverse cultural and ethnic background, which she represents in her music by blending distinctive threads of sounds symbolizing nature, agriculture, the craft of weaving, Buddhist chant and Plainsong, and Japanese-American and French song into an harmonious, beautifully undulating continuum of sonorous texture. By way of an encore, the brief, beautifully lyrical and very tonal song cycle by Québecois composer Pierre Mercure presented in a new orchestration by Jonathan Monro. Hebrew/French-English texts. Sharon Azrieli (soprano), Krisztina Szabó (mezzo), Musicians of Le Nem; Lorraine Vaillancourt.