FREDRICK KAUFMAN (b.1936): Metamorphosis, Yin and Yang for 2 Pianos (w/Kemal Gekić [second piano]), MARTA BRANKOVICH (b.19??): Victory, War, SVETISLAV BOŽIĆ (b.1954): Lyric of Athos, ZORAN HRISTIĆ (b.1938): Toccata, CLINT MANSELL (b.1963): Lux Aeterna, ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): 3 Gnossiennes.
Catalogue Number: 09U076
Label: Navona Records
Description: This rather odd concept album/performer portrait has genuine unusual repertoire credentials. Brankovich hails from Serbia, and the two works by fellow Serbian composers - a headlong Toccata by Hristić and the rather impressionistic Lyric by Božić, with its melancholy melodiousness derived from Orthodox chant - are both tonal and inflected by the modes of Serbian traditional music. So are the two short compositions by the pianist, which present their melodies over tolling accompaniments before breaking into paroxysms of uncontrolled vehemence, in memory of the victims of violence in her country in the 1990s. She settled and studied in Miami, where Kaufman, whose Guernica concerto we offered in 2013 (08P074) now teaches. His two tough, dissonant and passionate works - the solo one putting its basic material through a wide variety of idioms, modernistic, contrapuntal and sometimes suggesting the composer's jazz background - borderline tonal and climaxing in clusters (Brankovich seems to have derived something of her own idiom from him), take the lion's share of the disc. The Gnossiennes, presumably here because the pianist likes them, and a piano arrangement of a film theme by Mansell, who scored the movie 'Black Swan' from which Brankovich borrowed her stage image, fill out the CD. Marta Brankovich (piano).