ClassicalNet

Surely this must be counted as one of the most important piano recordings ever issued of Charles Camilleri’s music. As time goes by, the mind becomes more lucid, assimilates influences fairly spectacularly and contributes ideas of such hallowed genius that the all-embracing universe can only hope to contemplate cosmologies and harmony. ‘Paganiniana’ is a delightful virtuoso piece, the famous Caprice turned inside out with its notes sound somber and jovial at the same time.

With ‘Astralis’ we are on a different plane, hallowed almost machine-like music, tortuous and percussive in its intensity. The ‘Constellations’ movement is particularly searching. ‘Cosmologies’ is arguably the masterpiece of the disc a three-movement suite of intensely mystical music. Cosmologies I rises sphinx-like out of universal ashes to expand into a hallowed starscape of marvelous beauty. ‘Colours of Time’ is more retrospective, more genial but no less masterly. As is the briefly wayward Xnobis.

I had already listened first-hand to the premiere of Celestial Harmonies (played by the outstanding Maltese pianist, Ramona Zammit Formosa) and can confirm that the whole work is permeated by wondrous notes climaxing in an almost incredible constellation that is Celestial Harmonies itself. ‘Chemins’ is also fragmentary in nature, short abrasive Machine Music rubs hands with a stately ‘Rythmic Kit’, suffice to say that all is perfectly at one with the stellar theme.

Finally there is ‘Noospheres’, more fireworks, more fantasy, more hallowed divinity. I would refer the listener to Ates Orga’s suitably extensive analysis of this work, part of which is reproduced in the note to the booklet. Obviously Murray Mclachlan’s playing is absolutely spellbinding, a true advocate of the composer’s music, he brings a stamp of authority and excellence to all compositions.

Kathryn Page’s short contribution in Paganiniana is also commendable. Maclachlan also writes the notes to the CD and provides eminently lyucid descriptions that add to the colour and appeal of the whole project. Peter Nicholl’s recording is a clear vote on clarity and the whole project is essential to all piano students, players and enthusiasts alike as it enshrines one of the greatest living composers in music of true celestial harmony. Performance: ***** Sound: *****

—Gerald Fenech