TIM BRADY (b.1953): Symphony No. 4 “The How and the Why of Memory”, Violin Concerto “Requiem 21.5”, Viola Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 09R075
Reference: CMCCD 21515
Description: These are recent works, a significant point when one reads the multifaceted composer's résumé. A noted experimentalist, as composer Brady has in the past produced a substantial body of modernist works, often featuring highly unorthodox ensembles including electronics and multiples of the instrument on which he is a leading avant-garde performer, the electric guitar. These works are nothing like that; they are scored for conventional forces and are very tonal and approachable, though somewhat unconventional and far from old-fashioned. The symphony is in a single 25-minute span divided into three main sections. A mysterious opening seems suspended in time, with sustained, harmonically ambiguous chords in shifting timbres and evanescent gestures that seem to be seeking direction. One of these suddenly develops into a vigorous ostinato-driven section, now decidedly tonal, with a persistent pulse that accumulates speed and momentum, becoming increasingly obsessive and threatening in character. This winds down into a less aggressive, throbbing rhythmic movement which crescendoes to introduce an unexpected finish that echoes gestures from the beginning. The Violin Concerto was written in memory of a friend of the composer. The piece, in three linked movements, uses fragments of Varèse and Mozart, alternating lyrical lament and propulsive protest in a similar tonal vocabulary to the symphony, with tintinnabulary cascades and massed chordal textures framing the soloist's impassioned elegy. The concerto is in four sections played without break; a neo-romantic lyrical movement; a rhythmically active scherzo, increasingly powerful and menacing, that suddenly gives way to a mysterious, static slow movement, with the viola's long-breathed melodic soliloquy to the fore; and a finale marked 'groove', a high-powered, tumultuously motoric race to the finish. Robert Uchida (violin), Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot (viola), Symphony Nova Scotia; Bernard Gueller.