“Mare” = Works for 4 Pianists – TRYGE MADSEN: Grotesques and Arabesques; WOLFGANG PLAGGE: Mare; Concerto Grosso III, BJØRN KRUSE: Boogie Retention – Aurora (Piano) Quartet – 2L

by | May 10, 2007 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

“Mare” = Works for 4 Pianists – TRYGE MADSEN: Grotesques and Arabesques; WOLFGANG PLAGGE: Mare; Concerto Grosso III, BJØRN KRUSE: Boogie Retention – Aurora (Piano) Quartet – 2L Multichannel SACD 2L37 [Distr. by Qualiton], 53:22 *****:

I just revealed in another multi-pianist review that I’m a nut about any inflation of the ordinary one-piano/one-pianist situation. The Aurora Quartet is a rather new ensemble bringing eight skilled hands to the keyboards of from two to four pianos – continuing the 19th century practice of transcribing orchestral music for performance by four pianists.  All of these works were composed in the last 15 years or so, and they are basically tonal and make imaginative use of the multi-keyboards. The timing of the Aurora’s coming into existence is excellent since now we can experience them in hi-res surround sound instead of squashed down into a two-channel medium. And 2L’s 5.1 reproduction really does all the works justice.

The title of Madsen’s five short pieces comes from Edgar Allen Poe. Each one is a portrait of a famous composer, including two which he admits have great influence on his own music: Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Plagge’s four-movement suite Mare is a portrait of the Sea similar to Debussy’s La Mer.  Only the sea being portrayed is the mostly-frozen Polar Sea.  Ostinato figurations predominate, and the final movement captures an icier tempest at sea than Debussy’s version. Composer Kruse worked for 20 years as a jazz musician and says his earliest attraction to jazz came thru boogie-woogie. He filters his memory of this into the abstract and rhythmic two-piano/four-player Boogie Retention.

 – John Sunier

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01