Album Review

One : Chamber Music of Kurt Rohde [coll] – [Innova/American Composers]

Thurston Hunger   12/6/2012   A Library, CD

Four very distinct presentations of UC Davis violist/professor/composer’s work.
The lead off tripartite Concertino for me was killer. A lot of skating-on-ice
violin work from Axel Strauss, for whom the piece was expressly written.
As edgy as any thing you’ll hear on KFJC, but couched in the chamber
orchestra confines, with crisp Partch-like percussion and bursts of
suspense. Piano explosions, staggering violin runs, false endings. Fans
of Morricone’s “Thing” soundtrack check out #3 “rotto.” Next up,
Genevieve Feiwen Lee delivers Rohde’s piano and per-plunk-ussion
along with the verse of Jakob Stein. Qumran calls from the cave mouth,
piano trickles but a little too ballroom for me. Pieces are very short,
fragments, pottery poetry shards in the desert. Next, Rohde himself appears
during “Double Trouble” these pieces veer between panic and calm. Not as
arresting as the initial suite. Lastly “Four Remixes for Piano Trio” have little
of the tangled, spiky strings, more piano for the people, as I guess befits
their more popular seedings/leanings. Check the extensive liner notes
or peep Rohde’s scores online – http://kurtrohde.com/scores.
-Thurston Hunger

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