REYNALDO MOYA (b.1984): Polythene Sonata Product (Latitude 49), Bonsai, Violin 3.0 (Francesca Anderegg [violin]), Hearing It Getting Dark (Attacca Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 08W061
Label: Furious Artisans
Description: The young(ish) Venezuelan-American composer writes immensely enjoyable, thoroughly accessible works in a very tonal idiom, imbued with lively imagination and a refreshing measure of humor. He has borrowed freely of the accoutrements of minimalism, but he is not a minimalist. Polythene Sonata Product (2014) summarises all of this in a lively and entertaining ten minutes. The work is very obviously in sonata form, but its material consists of tongue in cheek episodes of contrasting minimalist cells; an abrupt, Nymanesque / Dutch first subject; a Glassian /American melodic second, and so on. The increasingly vigorous development and recapitulation are easy to spot. A rippling introduction resurfaces in bridging passages, and rounds out the Beethovenian 'guess how and when I'm going to end this' coda. The idea of a factory turning out copies of a ‘product' in a mass-market material inspired the composer and informs the work's propulsive character. The substantial string quartet is based on William Faulkner's 1929 novel "The Sound and the Fury" about a tragically disintegrating Southern family. The quartet depicts three main sections of the novel, told from the viewpoint of three brothers and emphasizing their respective relationships with their sister, whose own tribulations wind through the troubled family's downfall. The first movement represents Jason, materialistic, conniving and superficial. This music is abrupt, hectoring and dogmatic, contrasting with a whining second theme. The sensitive Quentin is next; his poetic, Romantic nature is depicted in lush romantic melody and Tristanesque harmony. A theme representing the sister, C-A-D-D-Y intrudes, and a breakdown occurs in screeching aleatoric whoops; the character's psyche then gently deteriorates to the point of a sad suicide. The third brother, Benjy, is intellectually challenged and confuses the information provided by his senses, hence the title of the quartet. He is the most sympathetic character of the three, and, lacking the capacity for self-deception, the most reliable narrator despite the disjointedness of his account. His fragile, nonlinear but gently non-confrontational music reflects this. Violin 3.0, for three violins (multitracked by one here) is a lively post-minimalist piece with the instruments weaving around one another in imitative, tonal, spirals. Bonsai is the violinist-composer’s tribute to Bach's solo violin works refracted through a post-minimalist prism, with gestures and figuration borrowed from the Baroque treated in repeated patterns.