ROBERTO SIERRA> (b.1953): Turner for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Piano Trio No. 2, 2x3 for 2 Pianos, Cello Sonata, Cancionero Sefardí for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 08J088
Label: New Albion
Reference: NA 135
Description: Elements of his Afro-Caribbean heritage may be detected - thoroughly integrated into the whole - in Sierra's highly personal idiom, mainly in the form of his pronounced and lively sense of rhythm. T he principal characteristic of these works, however, is a complex overlapping of multiple layers, frequently in opposing and contrasting meters, reminiscent of Ligeti (one of his most significant teachers). The six pieces that make up Turner, rather than attempting to literally interpret the painter's extraordinary canvases, instead evoke the revolutionary use of light and texture in his works through bold yet subtle harmonic and rhythmic gestures. The trio combines elements of Caribbean rhythm with a twelve-tone theme in a work that thus remains readily approachable, for all its complexity. This kind of high-energy dynamism and drama is present in the other works in equal measure, especially the outer movements of the two-piano work and the ferociously virtuosic and passionate cello sonata. The songs employ elements of another folk tradition - Spanish-Jewish - and are the most obviously melodic works, though with the composer's characteristically scintillating accompaniments providing a refracting shimmer around the sung texts. Continuum.