VICTORIA BOND (b.1945): Instruments of Revelation for Flute, Clarinet and Piano Trio, Frescoes and Ash for Clarinet, String Quartet, Double Bass, Piano and Percussion, Leopold Bloom’s Homecoming for Tenor and Piano, Binary for Piano.

Catalogue Number: 05U067

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.559864

Format: CD

Price: $12.98

Description: Bond is adept at writing characterful, entertaining and approachable chamber music in an idiom firmly based in tonality but with a certain harmonic unpredictability, which along with rhythmic liveliness and precisely judged and inventive instrumental groupings lend the music freshness, originality and charm. The three quirky portraits of characters from tarot cards - The Magician, The High Priestess, and The Fool - combine an element of surreal comedy with vivid pictorial depictions of respectively the cunning, mysterious, and slightly mad personages. Frescoes and Ash is a substantial suite of seven scenes based on frescoes excavated at Pompeii depicting various subjects, from humorous and boisterous to scenic and solemn (a lively tarantella, an aquatic scene that seems to have wandered in from Le carnaval des animaux, and so on). The final piece is an unexpectedly moving elegy for the immolated city, with aspects of chaconne, chorale and funeral march. Leopold Bloom's Homecoming sets a drily logorrheic monologue from Joyce's 'Ulysses', with the music, alternately Romantic, dramatic or withdrawn, supplying the pent-up emotion and passions missing from the surreally matter-of-fact text. Binary illustrates the computerised dichotomy of 0 and 1 by exploring every possible pianistic ramification of the interval of a second, in contrasting textures from crashingly dissonant chords to a Prokofiev-like toccata to action, stasis and dynamic extremes. Texts included. Chicago Pro Musica, Rufus Müller (tenor), Jenny Lin, Olga Vinokur (piano).


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