Night Music glumly muses with suggestions of inimical fate woven in. The same can be said of the bleak landscapes of the two Rhapsodies. Once again there is a chill in this music and less of the lyrical tendency noted in the outstanding Divertimento and Concerto. One can only hope for recordings of his four string quartets: two early , and two late onwards.
Since then there have been a Cello Concerto , Symphony No. On the present showing all of these works should be worth hearing. If they attain the heights of imaginative writing achieved in the modestly titled Divertimento we should be in for some revelations. There the clarinettist is Philippe Cuper. I shall be reviewing that disc in due course. You can tell a lot about N. Bacri's Im Volkston from the performing direction - ruvido rough , entusiastico, con bravura, rustico, delirando and non senza malizia not without malice. But for all its folky connotations, this is sophisticated music in its techniques and highly virtuosic in its demands.
Bacri has a lovely ear for textures as well as gifts for both the widely acrobatic and the lyrical. Usually tonality is lurking somewhere in the background and he very rarely resorts to sheer ugliness - perhaps the odd very high clarinet note qualifies. His is an individual voice, too. The opening of Im Volkston nods in the direction of The Soldier's Tale, and there are Bartokian moments later on, but those apart, what strikes me about the piece is its sense of fun - not that ready a commodity in contemporary music.
The Divertimento is more serious, but certainly not solemn. Ostinati rule the day, often working against each other to produce effects of anxious dislocation. In contrast, the central "Canto lontano" is impressively calm and spacious and the final movement generates considerable power. Here, and in Adams Dances and the Concerto da camera , Bacri displays his fine sense of timing : passages never sound peremptory nor outstay their welcome.
Now in his early forties, Bacri must be regarded as one of the whiter hopes of French music. The performances, led by Philippe Cuper's brilliant clarinet playing, are by turns stunning and sensitive.
The relatively early piano works several of which turn up re-worked in other pieces show the influence of other composers, as well as an emerging lyricism; largely avoiding virtuosity, they sound like studies for his later style, albeit fully fleshed-out ones, not mere sketches. Records International, juillet www.
Le Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre op. Cela ne signifie pas grand chose. The result is music with an emphasis on sound for its own sake but with a satisfying amount of activity and feeling. The Cello Concerto is particularly exciting, a minute work in four short but pithy movements that keeps up a good head of steam.
The Folia is described as a "symphonic chaconne" for viola and strings, a short, three-movement work lasting 9 minutes. The chaconne is only the first part; Bacri likes to break open his forms, and follows the chaconne with a tiny scherzo and then a development of the theme.
BACRI Nicolas () | Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine
I was in the process of castigating the soloist for playing harshly and with no vibrato whatsoever in the first movement, when he suddenly developed a technique and lots of feeling--so apparently the composer asked him to play the opening funeral march this way. In what I am coming to think of as Bacri's usual open-ended style, the Finale itself is in three movements separated by cadenzas. A most interesting piece. The Requiem is another viola concerto where each movement is titled Musica notturna. Bacri is not quite on the Schnittke level of emotional involvement, at least on first hearing, but this French composer has a most interesting attitude towards making music, and I propose to you that he is worth investigating.
The performances are excellent in their effect. For me the main interest of this disc, which preserves a live concert in Munich last year, centres on the Sinfonietta of fellow member of the British Music Society, Nicolas Bacri.
Nicolas Bacri was born in in Paris. His worklist runs to more than eighty entries including six symphonies, fifteen concertos, five string quartets, three piano trios and much else. His Sinfonietta for Strings is in three movements of gently acidic harmonic inclination. The affecting adagio is touching and superbly well sustained in a way that hints at a dignified stance somewhere between Barber and Schmitt's Janiana symphony.
The spell is only transiently disrupted by a cough at 4. The first movement is well marked Drammatico. The second is dedicated to Edmund Rubbra and, typically for Rubbra, is marked Meditation. The finale relates to Marin Marais, the successor to Lully at the court of the Sun King but sounds nothing like Lully The sparkling levity of the finale, entering after a more serious introduction, recalled the athletic writing in Lennox Berkeley's Serenade for Strings.
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Overall the Bacri is a much stronger work than the Berkeley. This Sinfonietta is a substantial piece and the declared diminutive relates to time-scale rather than mood or ambition. The notes are in French and German only but are thorough and full. Bacri's First Trumpet Concerto was written in and as the composer says was written for trumpeters whereas the Second Concerto was written for Bacri alone.
It is, says the composer, a form of conversation with Bach. Bacri puts Aubier through his paces with writing taking the trumpeter into spheres where the metaphorical oxygen is thin. I can understand why there should be no break. Today's audiences are too easily given to inter-movement applause which would defile the spell of this prayerful and virtuosic meditation. The work ends in stellar regions with an optimism similar to that which also steals victory in the Escaich piece. Eric Aubier's virtuosity, both in brash, diving descent and rocket-like ascent as well as in poetry of expression and thoughtful reverie really makes this disc.
When he hits a top note he does so with invincible and magnificent stability. The orchestra tackles these by no means easy works with an accomplishment that should be the envy of Parisian orchestras let alone the regional competition. All three works, despite their disparate titles and associated expectations, have a serious but not pompous role for the trumpet.
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There is poignant oratory and earnest rhetoric pregnant with psychological drama. When Aubier engages afterburners make sure you are sitting down! The Bacri is the most overtly virtuosic piece here though all three test the soloist in diverse ways. Excellent composer notes, background and recording to match. Trumpeters will want to hear this but the disc's audience deserves to be much wider than the trumpet community and its entourage. My first trumpet concerto is dedicated to Sir Michael Tippett. It was written more for the trumpeters than for my pleasure. The reference to Tippett was my "blue sky corner".
It was in fact written in not as you have said in the review. It was therefore written while Tippett was still alive. I had obtained the permission via Tippett's office to dedicate the work to him. Unfortunately he died few weeks before the CD was issued and thus never heard it. I regret that you didn't speak about the jazz in my Second Concerto. It is a unusual feature in my music and I consider this was daring to put jazz in a work "im angedenken J.
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Also you fail to mention the continuous shifting between tonality and atonality in my works. This is certainly a feature in my Sinfonietta which does in fact make a reference of Marin Marais. The introduction to the before the sonatina begin third movement is taken from material by Marais. But it wouldn't be honest to let you say that without reacting. I am sincerely grateful to you for comparing it so advantageously to the Serenade by Lennox Berkeley, with which, I believe, it shares more in spirit, than with true symphonies. Bacri dedicated is 4th Suite to E.