June 25, 2020

Altogether a beautiful recording. Hommage also includes Oiseaux Tristes, a piece for solo piano inspired by Ravel’s Miroirs, and Quasi una sonata…for violin and piano. His innovative use of scales and their attendant harmonies had an enduring effect not only on subsequent classical music but on jazz as well, while his foregrounding of timbre and sonority suggested possibilities that are still undergoing exploration and development. Rado, accompanied by piano, clarinet and cello, is also featured on Traversa’s settings of three poems by Stéphane Mallarmé, which make up a moody, beautifully orchestrated and sung triptych. Here Traversa constructs a vocal line that floats languidly, rushes energetically and leaps wide intervals as it lags behind, outruns and doubles the instruments. It is a succinct, crepuscular work of fragments shored up against an abyss, with soprano Livia Rado’s voice providing a haunting, flute-like presence. Red 2, a piece for concertante violin and twelve-piece ensemble, is a direct homage to Boulez that begins with a quote from the latter’s Anthèmes. AMN Reviews: Martino Traversa – Hommage [Kairos 0015054KAI]

June 25, 2020 ~ dbarbiero

If Debussy’s was one of the quieter revolutions in Western art music, it was also one of the farthest-reaching. Di altri cieli, a piece for soprano and chamber sextet inspired by Luigi Nono’s Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima, sets a text by poet Friedrich Hölderlin. The album’s two works featuring Ensemble Prometeo, a chamber orchestra conducted by Marco Angius, show most directly Traversa’s deep engagement with the sensuous forces of instrumental color and their historical forms. With his pointedly titled monograph Hommage, Italian composer Martino Traversa (1960) places himself directly within this rich European, and largely but not exclusively French, tradition. The match of Rado’s voice with the clarinet and upper register cello is at times uncanny and a sensitive use of the human voice as a purely musical instrument. http://www.kairos-music.com
Daniel Barbiero Boulez’s material serves as the basis for thematic elaborations that permeate the piece. In developing his themes Traversa plays clusters of voices against each other in a dense weave of fused timbres; he maintains a sense of suspense throughout with the simple but effective device of placing trills on top of these sound masses.

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