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Tuesday, December 6, 2022 General

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022 In concert

Review

Ken Waxman, Jazz Word, November 1, 2022
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Press

Adaptation of two of John Cage’s later aleatoric compositions in their own fashion, members of Montréal’s Quartetski stay true to the composer’s instructions while creating completely original works. With Four6 designed for any way of producing sounds and One7 created for pitched instruments playing sustained notes, Pierre-Yves Martel on electric bass and sine waves and Bernard Falaise on electric guitar plus bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier and percussionist Isaiah Ceccarelli, both of whom also play synthesizers, construct electro-acoustic tracks of kaleidoscopic textures.

Since One7 wants instruments acting as one, Quartetski’s layered interactions concentrate into a pointillist vibrating mass by mid-point and propelled by altissimo reed whistles and voltage drones, stay that way until the end. Before that, organ-like synthesizer swells, guitar string plinks, unvarying chalumeau-register clarinet buzzes and percussion rolls corkscrew multiple pitches into the exposition before coalescing.

More individualism characterizes Four6 since multiple sounds are expressed and emphasized. Lauzier at points projects both subterranean body tube growls and repeated staccato shrieks; Ceccarelli sounds doorbell-like peals or cymbal scratches as often as bass drums thumps; Falaise’s effects pedal moves intermittent guitar twangs upwards; and Martel’s thick bass strums propel regularized rhythmic vibrations as well as focusing timbral evolution. Crucially, however, at certain moments, reoccurring harsh reed flattement confirm linear evolution.

Transforming interpretation into originality, Quartetski realizes the essence of Cage’s conception in a novel and unique form.

Transforming interpretation into originality, Quartetski realizes the essence of Cage’s conception in a novel and unique form.

Review

Ken Waxman, Musicworks, no. 143, September 1, 2022
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 Press

Transforming interpretation into originality, Quartetski realizes the essence of Cage’s conception in a novel and unique form.

Critique

Claude Colpaert, Revue & Corrigée, no. 133, September 1, 2022
Friday, September 30, 2022 Press

Review

Ken Waxman, Jazz Word, September 19, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022 Press

Moving from improvisation to interpretation, Quatuor Bozzini (QB) with violinists Alissa Chung and Clemens Markel violist Stéphanie Bozzini and cellist Isabelle Bozzini bring their proven skills in dealing with and commissioning contemporary concert piece to four string quartet combination by American composer Tom Johnson. Concerned with minimalism, repetition and mathematical techniques, three of the creations are divided into tiny shards, some as brief as 14 seconds, with the turnarounds and breaks in all almost as short. Overall the performances are vastly more tonal and circular than those on the other discs. However it’s a testament to the QB’s skill that the four make rhythmic and fluid what could have been a series of academic exercises. The five-part Combinations for String Quartet for instance that opens the disc, is a monument to simplicity and beauty. Through many unison sections and seemingly endless pattern repetitions, sprightly and floating responses enter into the unfolding. The cellist even manages to suggest a foot-tapping rhythm. Moving on from the harsh and buzzing interruption in the fourth section, the piece ends with warmer, more moderate developments. Additionally, the concluding seven-part Formulas for String Quartet evolves with same sort of layered and lyrical interface. Including harder bass clef strokes and back-and-forth linear thrust, the QB creates something that is lyrical and almost flowery, but not at the expense of conscious projections. The penultimate VII confirms this with speedy glissandi that move from allegro to staccato, and the concluding VIII that displays slightly nervous, but never dissonant timbres that connect appropriately.

… it’s a testament to the QB’s skill that the four make rhythmic and fluid what could have been a series of academic exercises.