MIROSLAV SRNKA (b.1975): Pouhou vlnou for Piano Quintet, Engrams for String Quartet, Tree of Heaven for String Trio, Simple Space for Cello and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 06R087
Description: In a recent interview, the composer half joked that if asked what kind of music he writes, he would say 'crazy unsupportable music that no-one would want to listen to'. But also that emotion in music is important, and keeping the listener engaged no matter their level of musical sophistication. The sum of these statements describes rather nicely what we have here. The music is immensely complex and intricate, notated with great precision, including the extended techniques and quarter-tones required. Scurrying, busy textures - appealing in themselves if musically unconventional - abound, with fragments of what sound as though they're trying to be melodic fragments of traditional harmony surfacing and then receding. There is always something going on, and it's always interesting. The pieces build out of abstract textures toward climaxes in a definite dramatic arc or series of arcs, which is where the emotional tension and release comes in. Very occasionally, a moment of breathtaking stillness and beauty, such as the glowing series of consonant chords that suddenly appears in Engrams, will occur, or an earthy, rustic peasant dance played with excessive pressure on the strings, or a real scrap of melody, conventionally harmonised. Challenging, but oddly satisfying. Quatuor Diotima, Wilhem Latchoumia (piano).