actuellecd

Review

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 1 décembre 2008

This is my initial encounter with Canadian pianist Brigitte Poulin who, besides being a refined soloist, is also active as a chamber musician and vocal accompanist tackling many kinds of repertoire “from the invention to the deconstruction of the piano", as per biographic notes. Not a surprise then that she got a doctorate in interpretation of contemporary piano literature at the University of Montréal. Édifices naturels is an absorbing collection in which she executes pieces by four young composers - James Harley, Ana Sokolović, Denys Bouliane and Paul Frehner, all of them perfect strangers to this writer (mea culpa). There seems to be a sort of aesthetic continuity among these scores, whose stylistic range comprises graceful elegies, dissonant eruptions, hints to Chick Corea circa Children Songs and materials at the border with pure improvisation. Poulin’s approach with the program is characterized by zeal and elegant restraint at once, her phrasing releasing scents of awareness, a degree of nostalgia for the past, the grief-stricken consciousness of an impossible-to-relive atmosphere. The impressive aspect of this woman’s style is that both impetus and rarefaction appear to be factors of a same equation, the music wrapped by an aura of longing that lets us soak up even the most convoluted segments with contentment, the level of sober musicianship high throughout, a lovely feminine sensitiveness perceptible ever since the very first tones of each composition. This was a much welcomed soundtrack for a dismal November evening.

… a lovely feminine sensitiveness perceptible ever since the very first tones of each composition.