CRISTIAN CARRARA (b.1977): Tales from the Underground for Orchestra, Mater for String Orchestra, Liber Mundi for Soprano, Violin and Orchestra, Face to Face for Violin and String Orchestra, A Peace Overture and East West Romance for Violin and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05N086
Description: Anybody else fed up with anti-complexity polemics, shrilly defensive of contemporary composers who choose to write with 'simple clarity'? Carrara's noble, emotionally touching and genuinely spiritual works don't need to be apologized for with that sort of stuff. There is some suggestion of the Baltic minimalism of Pärt, Vasks et al., though Carrara's harmonies and melodic shapes are less austere, more suffused with southern warmth. Another comparison who frequently comes to mind is Vaughan Williams, in the persistent modal inflections of the tonal language and luxuriant, luminous textures. The works for string orchestra are predominantly prayerful in mood; Liber Mundi, with its affecting dialogue between violin and voice, contains passages of more dynamic drive, ostinato-propelled. This is also true of Tales, a work of greater dramatic and rhythmic variety, rising from somber shadows to a fine central climax, the closest piece here to a conventional Romantic tone-poem. The genial Overture and meditative Romance are straightforward and consonant, the former with an appealing John Adams-like romantic-minimalist feel and an English-sounding modal flavor. Appealing, well-crafted music which embraces the direct appeal of the new simplicity while avoiding the vacuous meandering of New Age idioms. Francesco D'Orazio (violin), Angela Nisi (soprano), Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini; Matthieu Mantanus.