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Classical Music Review

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Direct Contact


Composers: Various
Performed by: Roberta Rust (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 May 2019

Pianist Roberta Rust brings her own style and grace to the works of eight composers with whom she has had direct contact over the years. Dedicated to her late mother and step-daughter, this collection is as personal and touching as it is memorable for the broader audience...

Direct Contact sees Roberta Rust honour the work of composers she's actually had personal contact with. It opens with 'Blues' from George Rochberg’s 'Carnival Music'. Michael Anderson’s 'Thirteen plus 4' and 'Sonata' sees each tone cluster and arpeggio connected to the next.

Three selections from Leo Brouwer’s 'Diez Bocetos' move in tone from dark and mysterious to mischievous and experimental. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s 'Lament', showcases the traditional yet experimental compositional style for which the composer is known. In Almeida Prado’s 'Halley', all the forces of nature put in an appearance in what is a tonally-liberated work.

Phillip Evans’s 'Suite 1945', graces us with a 'Sarabande' and 'Aria'. The composer’s affinity for Bartok is evident in this piano composition that spans a breadth of emotions. Thomas L. McKinley’s 'Fantasy Pieces for Piano' demonstrates Rust’s ability to portray more rustic, raw themes in her performances. Concluding the album are three selections from John Sharpley’s 'Four Preludes'.

It's a diverse and entertaining release, which wonderfully showcases Rust's versatility at the piano. The fact that she's had a personal connection with each composer makes it all the more interesting.

George Rochberg
from Carnival Music (1971)
01 - Blues (4:59)

Michael Anderson
02 - Thirteen plus 4 (2005) (4:13)
03 - Sonata (2008)
I. Misterioso + Molto Legato (4:59)

Leo Brouwer
from Diez Bocetos (2007)
04 - Boceto No. 5 Choco (Eduardo Roca) (3:00)
05 - Boceto No. 4 Acosta León (3:44)
06 - Boceto No. 7 Cabrera Moreno (4:01)

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
07 - Lament (1999) (6:50)

Phillip Evans
08 - Minuetto (1939) (5:22)
from Suite 1945
09 - Sarabande (2:01)
10 - Aria (5:01)

Almeida Prado
Halley (Cartas Celestes, Volume VII) (1986)
11 - A infinita viagem (An Infinite Voyage) (4:37)
12 - Abril 1986 A.D. Hemisfério Sul (Southern Hemisphere) (2:10)
13 - Pax Caelestis (Celestial Peace) (3:24)

Thomas L. McKinley
from Fantasy Pieces for Piano (2005)
14 - Invocation (2:17)
15 - The Tyger, thy fearful symmetry (1:46)

John Sharpley
from Four Preludes (1998)
16 - Reflection (1:36)
17 - Doodle (2:50)
18 - To the Memory of Eleanor Reichardt (5:56)


Darren Rea

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