BRUNO MANTOVANI (b.1974): 8 moments musicaux for Piano Trio (Trio Wanderer), 5 pièces pour Paul Klee for Cello and Piano, Suonare for Piano, D'une seule voix for Violin and Cello, All'ungarese for Violin and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 08P085
Reference: MIR 159
Description: As in previous offerings of his music, this disc displays Mantovani's unusual gift for writing music in his own distinctive, thoroughly modern idiom, while remaining surprisingly accessible. Tonal referents and centers occur with some regularity, to be sure, but so do microtonal inflections, a high degree of dissonance, structural freedom and unusual sonorities - yet it is easy to be carried along by the music's ready appeal and irresistible flow, and catch oneself believing it to be more conventional than it actually is. The Moments musicaux borrow ideas from Schubert in a tribute to the composer, evoking a highly stylized image of Schubertian processes - instantly recognisable as such - without actually sounding like Schubert at all. The Klee pieces pursue a similar process, though here it is the painter's all-important concept of line that is explored in five pieces in which one can hear the linear constructs - broken, blurred, interwoven, parallel, divergent, circular - in a series of exhilarating dialogues. Suonare is a virtuosic examination of all manner of piano sonorities, from ambiguously pitched resonant masses of sound to filigree, crystalline chains of ornament in the highest register. Rather than a compendium of unrelated effects, though, the piece achieves a strong sense of cohesion and narrative flow, an inevitability of linear progression. The sense of line is even more important in the string duo, the two instruments constantly finishing each other's thoughts, or excitedly propelling the argument forward in perfect rhythmic unison, or taking turns in singing an eloquent melodic line while the other instrument provides a static drone accompaniment. Quarter-tone inflections of the line constantly produce tension and a certain exoticism of contour. All'ungarese is a tribute to Bartók, in much the same way as the Moments musicaux refer to Schubert; the improvisatory, rhapsodic gestures are obviously, unmistakably references to Bartók, but nothing is quoted, and the piece is unequivocally original Mantovani, not a Bartók pastiche. Much to enjoy here, on many levels. Claire Désert (piano), Trio Wanderer.