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A special eight-page section focusing on recent recordings from the US and Canada

Baxter ‘Ask the Moon’ April Twilighta. Four Views of Loveb. Grandmother, think not I forgetc. Is this the cost?d. Nights Without Sleepb. Skywritingc. Three Madrigalsc. Three Poems from Edna St Vincent Millayc. Two Last Songse ae Annie Gill, dKatherine Keem, cJessica Satava sops bPeter Scott Drackley ten aMelissa Wertheimer fl Andrew Stewart pf Navona F NV6133 (51’ • DDD • T)

There are many lovely things on this recording of songs by Garth Baxter about loss and memory, and of marrying words to music. Most are sad, and the composer’s idiom is simple, straightforward, old-fashioned romantic, but in each Baxter’s ear for matching the rhythm and sense of the verse quickly allows him to identify the central point of emotional interest at which his inspiration and the singer’s art intersect.

At the smaller end of the scale Baxter’s setting of Sara Teasdale’s exquisite Nights Without Sleep, with its ending line ‘my life will live on in music after me’, gives tenor Peter Scott Drackley, who sings with remarkably clear diction, an opportunity to be full-throated and ardent before giving way to 40 seconds of a gorgeous piano coda. Baxter does again and even more effectively at the end of ‘Let it be forgotten’. The most poignant is ‘Is this the cost?’ from his opera Lily, sung beautifully by Baxter’s wife Katherine Keem.

The best is the longest, ‘Grandmother, think not I forget’, a sweet love song set to a text Baxter co-wrote with his wife, drawing forth from Jessica Satava her best work, at times unforgettably. There is also clear, bright singing from Annie Gill in two songs set to poems by Linda Pastan and Christina Rossetti. And throughout, Andrew Stewart at the piano is a singer’s dream.

The songs were recorded between 2013 and 2017 at different venues in and around Baltimore and yet the sound always seems consistent and true. Brief notes and complete texts are provided. Laurence Vittes talks to ... Orlando Cela The Venezuelan-born flautist talks about playing new music and a growing repertoire

Do you see expanding the flute repertoire as one of your missions? Yes, I do. I think every musician should do this. This is the second album for which I had requested works for flute that use ‘no normal sounds’. The Minakakis and Dulaney pieces arose separately from this challenge but were still written for me; they really set a new standard of composition for the flute.

These works employ various extended techniques, which must be challenging. Yes, every technique has its own unique challenge. Minakakis’s multiphonics had to be perfectly tuned to the piano resonance while remaining extremely quiet; Dulaney demands smooth transitions between various techniques; Robert Gross’s work required going to my limits, especially vocally; and Dana Kaufman’s ‘Hang Down Your Head’ made me explore throat-singing and playing at the same time, which took some time to master! But the true challenge

Corrette Six Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin, Op 25 Paul Luchkow vn Michael Jarvis hpd Marquis F MAR81475 (74’ • DDD)

While Michel Corrette’s methods and writings rank alongside those by

Geminiani, CPE Bach, Quantz and Tartini, fate has been less kind to his music; besides scholars, he may be best known only to cellists (and enterprising bassoonists) for whom he wrote a cello quartet and a sonata called Les délices de la solitude. Enter is using these techniques to achieve the intended expressive purpose.

Were any of these techniques new to you? Not completely new, although they are employed in different ways and in different combinations. And I must say, the variety of new notations the composers used to convey these techniques amazed me.

Had you worked with any of these composers before? I have known Maxwell Dulaney for a long time, and Stratis Minakakis for a few years. Dulaney is an extraordinary composer, in that he can play anything he writes, on whatever instrument, so is able to demonstrate his seemingly impossible ideas. We have worked closely together for many years, and he is keen to explore the limits of what is playable.

Canadians Paul Luchkow and Michael Jarvis to enlarge our knowledge. Written in 1742 to please the exquisite tastes of Louis XV’s court, with the pastoral adventures of Marie Antoinette as their aesthetic backdrop, Corrette’s six Sonates pour le clavecin avec un accompagnement de violon represented a charming update to the Baroque trio sonata. Although the title assigns a secondary role to the violin, and the harpsichord’s part stands on its own, the violin adds a variety of thrilling colouristic textures and popular devices including the occasional drone of a hurdy-gurdy. And while each of the six violin sonatas has its own colourful title, the most splendid musically is the Sixth, a very un-Joycean


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