Sounds & Clouds – Music of VIVALDI and HOSOKAWA [TrackList follows] – Jeremias Schwarzer, recorder/ Holland Baroque Soc. – Channel Classics multichannel SACD CCS SA 37615, 70:40 (11/13/15) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:
This is a hard disc to characterize. It mixes music of Vivaldi with the music of Toshio Hosokawa, a Japanese composer of contemporary music.
The idea of the program is an ‘East meets West’ blending of musical styles. At first, I was afraid that alternate tracks of Vivaldi and Hosokawa would be discomforting, but actually the music works fine in total. That’s no small accomplishment given the disparity in styles and the many generations that separate Vivaldi from Hosokawa.
The disc is arranged with selections from Hosokawa’s Singing Garden in Venice followed by one of four included Vivaldi’s Concertos.
The Hasakowa composition, written in 2011, is a relaxing contemplative piece, and in the presentation here contains some subtle water sound effects. I would best describe the composition as soundscapes.
This being a release from Channel Classics, it’s not going to be surprising to have me tell you that the recording is first class. Channel Classics always seems to get the strings right, and they’ve certainly done it here. Jeremys Schwarzer’s recorder is beautifully rendered. Although this is a multichannel recording, the rear channels are used to give a fullness to the acoustics, and that works well. Drop back to stereo and the effect is far less realistic. The overalll acoustic picture is very natural, and reverberant.
These odd pairings had an excellent chance of going wrong, but the fine performances, the marvelous recording, and the selected music from both composers works very well. Recommended for both the music, the artistic conception, and the wonderful recording.
1. Hosokawa- Singing Garden in Venice ‘Vorspiel. Nacht’
2-6. Vivaldi – Concerto op. 10 nr 2
7. Hosokawa- Singing Garden in Venice – Dammerung
8-10. Vivaldi – Concerto op. 10 nr 3
11. Hosokawa- Singing Garden in Venice – Das Meeer vor Dem Sturm
12-14. Vivaldi – Concerto op. 10 nr 1
15. Hosokawa- Singing Garden in Venice – Abenddammerung
16-18. Vivaldi – Concerto op. 10 nr 6
19. Hosokawa- Singing Garden in Venice – Nachspiel, Nacht – Schlaf