Some music hits you from the first with a special moodiness. Enter Ghost Dialogues (Metier 28572), an album of modern chamber music featuring the very dynamic trumpet playing of Chris Gekker. He joins with pianist Rita Sloan, mezzo-soprano Claire O’Brien and tenor saxist Chris Vedala in a program of haunting, autumnal reflections perfect for steeling oneself for the longer nights to come, or simply for deeper reflections no matter what the time of year.
The duo pairing rules with the exception of one trio. Some of the works have a solemn majesty, some a jazzy approach, all have a reflectiveness in some way, and all show Chris Gekker to be a marvelous, singing trumpet presence. Some have a modernistic edge harmonically, but all seem contemporary in the wide sense of the term.
“Fall” (2016) by Robert Gibson sets the tone with an almost aching retrospection and beauty, the piano setting up lush tapestries of sustains that the trumpet completes in kind. “Ghost Dialogues” (1993) for trumpet and tenor by Lance Holmes deepens the mood and has an open freedom that reveals vistas ahead.
Carson Cooman brings us three movements of seasonal change with his “Equinox Sonata” (2015) for trumpet and piano. A timeless feeling and a lyrical facticity makes this one stand out.
Another Lance Hulme work, “The Street has Changed” (2015), takes a reflective text and creates still more reflection for mezzo-soprano, trumpet and in the final movement offstage piano. There is space to punctuate, notes to remind us that space is not the primary element!
Two shorter goodbyes top off the program memorably, “Served Two Ways” (2011) for trumpet and tenor by David Henrick is filled with jazz lyric strength, then buzzing energy. And Kevin McKee’s “Song for a Friend” (2015) for trumpet and piano gets the last word with a kind of regal, beautifully tuneful musing.
I guess you could call this one a sleeper in the best sense. It is filled with many small and less-small treasures. All performers are peak, but Chris Gekker is the very artful, brilliant constant.
It may not be what you might ordinarily seek. That is why I am here, to tell you about the things you might overlook. Do not do that with Ghost Dialogues. The brown study side of you will gravitate happily to this program.
“There is a distinct magic about virtually every piece on this retrospective of [@fantasticdrfox’s] clarinet music... The sound quality of this CD is perfect..” – John France (#MusicWeb) #clarinet #Headlong Read the full review: divineartrecords.com… pic.twitter.com/M33Z…
Michael Finnissy’s forthcoming album of music for string quartet is his second album dedicated to #stringquartet works and the 12th album dedicated to his compositions on the #Métier label. Learn more: ow.ly/uJlh30ixclj pic.twitter.com/zqSj…
RT @SteinwayAndSons Can you name this face? This Italian composer-pianist stands alongside Schoenberg and Stravinsky as one of the 20th century’s most formative figures. Read here: fal.cn/44JA pic.twitter.com/u1Mt…