Miniaturised Concertos

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Pianist Kate Halsall conceived the idea of the Miniaturised Concerto as a new way to present two-piano repertoire in the context of the avant-garde, rock-fusion and electronic music of today. The result is five major ‘concertos’ and four works in the style of Maché (collages, or medleys, of new works by several composers ( see details below).

This is a totally unique sound experience which fuses classical art-music with the popular idioms and new techniques of perfomance and recording, involving many of Britain’s top names in the worlds of DJ-ing, electronics and sound design.

An additional track not on the CD is the music-video Making Place by Katharine Norman. This can be purchased as a download here or streamed free for single viewing via YouTube:

SUPPORTED BY ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND, BRITTEN-PEARS FOUNDATION AND THE RVW TRUST

Track Listing

    Andrew Poppy:

  1. Swimming with the Stone Book (15:43)
  2. Naomi Pinnock:

  3. Always Again (13:48)
  4. Philip Cashian:

  5. Furor (9:14)
  6. Colin Riley:

  7. Hanging in the Balance (19:54)
  8. Various Composers:

  9. Maché 1 (16:20)
  10. Dominic Murcott:

  11. Time and Place (5:38)
  12. Various Composers:

  13. Maché 3 (12:45)
  14. Maché 4 (4:46)

Reviews

5 Against 4

The second disc – under the title Maché, in which seventeen short pieces are turned into multi-composer remixed ‘concertos’, including indeterminate aspects – provides much richer music. Maché 1 undergoes a lovely development from isolated pitches into a dense, complex electroacoustic soundworld, later emphasising electric guitar, finally becoming a kind of drone. Maché 4 is truly outstanding: resonant chords, dissonant but attractively so, punctuated with hugely powerful and exciting sweeps across piano strings.

” —Simon Cummings
The Classical Reviewer

The Metier Division of Divine Art always has something new to tempt adventurous listeners and so it is with a new release from this label. This is a totally unique sound experience which fuses classical art-music with the popular idioms and new techniques of performance and recording, involving many of Britain’s top names in the worlds of DJ-ing, electronics and sound design. These are fascinating works that bring a myriad of unusual textures, colours and sonorities allowing the imagination to expand. I cannot imagine the performances being bettered. Pianists, Kate Halsall and Fumiko Miyachi deserve a special mention as the backbone of many of these performances. They are well recorded at various venues and there are useful booklet notes.

” —Bruce Reader
Fanfare

This highly unusual release includes two projects, as the CD title implies. The concerto disc is the yang to the yin of the Maché disc. Or, to suggest a more relevant com­parison, rock and roll versus jazz. The four concertos for double keyboards share a driving sense of rhythm and the sort of repetitive patterns associated with Minimalism. As a kind of aural decoration, these works are interesting, and even alluring. The Machés cover a much greater range of theatricality. In general, they flow at a much more leisurely tempo than the concertos, at moments rhapsodic, even dreamy … a kind of broad experience, for those interested in stretching their listening ex­perience into new worlds of sound.

” —Peter Burwasser
The Chronicle Online Review Corner

Halsall, a pianist, mixes genres; the album stems from a project started in 2012 exploring the traditional piano concerto in new ways. She uses two pianos, various electro-acoustical accompaniment, some jazz and rock instruments, and film. Halsall takes music and breaks it down into blocks to create something new, and writing about it is like breaking it down again; it is an experimental album full of new ideas, it’s got a compulsive air about it.

” —Jeremy Condliffe
Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

The What’s new? factor is foremost… Kate Halsall has done a fine job coming up with exciting new music and guiding the live performances to a satisfying fruition … the results are stunning. The musical soundscapes-panoramas give us a sort of state-of-the-art window on ultra-post-modern-modern worlds. It makes for a beautiful listen. This set breaks ground and stimulates the musical ears in rather profound ways. I do not hesitate to recommend it highly. An essential offering for what, indeed, is new out there right now.

” —Grego Edwards