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Tide HarmonicJoby Talbot
Tide Harmonic is a new work for small ensemble by the contemporary British composer Joby Talbot. With a compositional aesthetic that threads through his classical and concert works, this disc was born out of a collaboration with choreographer Carolyn Carlson originally entitled Eau. A piece for small ensemble of string quartet, percussion, harp and keyboards (celesta, piano and harmonium), Tide Harmonic is described by its composer as: “… a kind of water symphony that, rather than constructing a poetic or narrative programme inspired by man’s relationship with water, instead focuses on the substance itself, the forces that act upon it, and the energy that flows through and from it”.
This is Signum’s second disc of Talbot’s work, and comes 5 years after Path of Mircales (SIGCD078) with the professional chamber choir Tenebrae:
"From it's opening eerie rising vocal glissando (A Tawainese singing effect called pasiputput) for the gentlemen of Nigel Short's Tenebrae, to the final distribution of the pilgrims having reached Finisterre ... Path of Miracles is little short of a musical miracle in itself. I would go so far as to suggest that this is to the first decade of the 21st century what Arvo Pärt's Passio was twenty years earlier"
What people are saying
"Talbot’s reputation as an accessible and enjoyable composer will certainly take no hits from this latest recording. It’s the antithesis of Boulez."
" ...an engrossing concept album about water, evoked in its various elemental states across a five-part suite bookended with a brief orchestral torrent supplanted by the resonant ringing of Tibetan temple bowls.”
Release date: 27th Jun 2011
Order code: SIGCD260
|1.||Tide Harmonic: Dew Point||Joby Talbot||18.31|
|2.||Tide Harmonic: Dew Point||Joby Talbot||15.37|
|3.||Tide Harmonic: Storm Surge||Joby Talbot||9.05|
|4.||Tide Harmonic: Algal Bloom||Joby Talbot||15.13|
|5.||Tide Harmonic: Confluence||Joby Talbot||13.54|
Joby Talbot's music is increasingly popular and its surface attractions help to explain why. His 2008 "�water symphony', the 72-minute Tide Harmonic began existence as a dance score called Eau for a French production choreographed by the American, Carolyn Carlson. It was first performed in Lille in April 2008. This in turn generated the desire to record the work, which was duly carried out the following year.
It is, as with all Talbot's music, wholly approachable. It opens with a flurry of droplet percussion, conjuring up precise but rather hypnotic warmth and moves from there with increasing density (but clarity) of sound, thrumming toward open lyricism. The instrumentation of five violins, viola, two cellos, bass, two harps, and then piano, celesta and harmonium ensures that textures are clear and aerated. The effusiveness of the two harps, rippling away, gives its own sound-world to the five movement symphony. Hadal Zone is the name of the second movement, a frozen but never static place, indeed lissom in its central section where one hears some rolled chords and romantic expression, tangy tremolandi and a well managed steady crescendo. The central movement sounds to me to be the Scherzo. Called Storm Surge it is, at nine minutes, the most compact of the five and also the most propulsive, with plenty of kinetic wave energy "� a storm at sea with funky patterns. Algal Bloom returns us to thin strands of sound; it's a kind of Adagio, with plenty of minimalist sounding repeated pattern riffs, before music accretes to music and it develops greater athleticism and sweep. The finale is Confluence, a cleansing, rather lovely affair "� filmic, visual, the harp figures promising the hope of renewal.
Talbot's reputation as an accessible and enjoyable composer will certainly take no hits from this latest recording. It's the antithesis of Boulez.
MusicWeb International, Jonathan Woolf
The former Divine Comedian's latest project is an engrossing concept album about water, evoked in its various elemental states across a five-part suite bookended with a brief orchestral torrent supplanted by the resonant ringing of Tibetan temple bowls.
In the opening "Dew Point", these are augmented by harp, glockenspiel, vibes, piano and celeste, with strings seeping through eventually. "Hadal Zone" plumbs deeper, darker depths, with vibes and glockenspiel drifting down the scale over a steady bass monotone drone; and "Algal Bloom" pitches eerie strings against minimalist piano repetitions, before "Confluence" draws the various tributaries together.
The Independent, Andy Gill