…This release joins the elite of great recordings, performances that will likely to be enjoyed for as long as music endures. (…) If you think Vivaldi a bore, try this and experience conversion.
Brothers Paul and Huw Watkins British Works for Cello and Piano, a series remain[ing] by far the best recorded guides to this powerful and enjoyable repertoire according to BBC Music, reaches its fourth volume. Following Kenneth Leightons three-movement Partita, op. 35 comes Elisabeth Lutyens Constants, op. 110, whose four melodic and harmonic intervallic constants are used exclusively throughout the work. Alun Hoddinotts Sonata, op. 96/1 is notable for its clear, open textures, often of two-part counterpoint. Richard Rodney Bennetts four-movement Sonata ends the program.
The Italian word malinconia was very commonly used in the nineteenth century as a title for melancholy pieces. Yet the idea of malinconia covered a myriad of romantic notions, so that simply translating it as "melancholy" does not do it justice. It subsumes many other emotional states as well - all kinds of dejection, gloom, unknown sadness, desperation, depression and even frustration. Each language has evolved its own terms, and interpretations of the word itself also differ from region to region. Malinconia in sunny Italy or Spain is quite different from melancholy in Norway and in Finland, where the winters are harsh and long. The Nordic variant is expressed here in various musical examples; words alone are anyway inadequate.
The irrepressible Dave Douglas delivers another installment in the life of the Tiny Bell Trio, which features his own inimitable trumpet style, but the rhythmic invention of Jim Black on drums, and Brad Shepik's emotionally vulnerable yet volatile guitar playing. Where previous Tiny Bell outings have focused on the possibilities for texture, dynamic, and atmospheric possibilities within a given compositional structure, Songs for Wandering Souls places its eye firmly on group execution this set of compositions – all but two of which are by Douglas, the others arranged by him especially for this of his many groups. The disc opens with "Sam Hill," a beautiful "song," where the lead "call" voice is carried by Douglas, but its "response" is in the lyrical flow of Shepik's string interplay.