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Music Review

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Cross-Cultural Collaborations in Sound


Artists: Various
Label: Ansonica Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 October 2016

Intersections embodies the beautiful art whose creation has been enabled by the newly opened cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba. Through a collection of intriguing compositions by American and American-based composers, this album showcases the talents of Cuban musicians in a variety of large ensemble and chamber settings.

Following on from Ansonica Records's Abrazo: The Havana Sessions comes another collection of Cuban based recordings. Intersections straddles the line between classical/choral and jazz, providing an almost freeform classical feel.

As I always do when albums come in for review, I listened to this a couple of times before putting it aside to be played again for a few days before I write the review. On the first few play throughs I don't look at the press info, in order to come to the music afresh with no preconceived ideas about what I'm listening to. With Intersections, it was only when I came to start the review that I noticed the running order of the tracks, as sent, was not in the playlist order that the sleeve notes indicated. Now it might not seem important, but with this album the order in which the tracks are played is instrumental in the way you soak up the whole experience.

The album contains 15 tracks (1 hr, 02 min, 50 sec). We start off with Jeffrey Jacob's 'Awakening for Piano and Orchestra'. This is a very beautiful, classical piece of music that helps draw the listener in to the more experimental pieces. On a side note, I could easily have listened to an entire album based around this piece of music. Jacob delivers so many beautiful segments in such a short space that it would have been interesting to have heard much more of his work.

'Untouched by Morning and Untouched by Noon' is an 8-part piece, which is a fusion of freeform classical/jazz. It was interesting, but not one of the highlights of the album.

'And The Huddled Masses: Haves, Deguenilles' reminded my of John Williams's 'The Well of the Souls' from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The album contains 15 tracks (1 hr, 02 min, 50 sec) and will find a welcome home in the collection of any choral/classical fan's music collection.

Track listing:

01 - 'Awakening for Piano and Orchestra' - Jeffrey Jacob
(National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba | Enrique Pérez Mesa, conductor Jeffrey Jacob, piano)

'Untouched by Morning and Untouched by Noon' - Heidi Jacob
(Alden Ortuño Cabezas, bass clarinet; Yasek Manzano Silva, trumpet; Marisel González Valdés, trombone; Brian Church, baritone; Charles Abramovic, piano
02 - 'Ingenuous'
03 - 'Wild and Raucous'
04 - 'Sultry, Languorous'
05 - 'Liquido'
06 - 'l’escalier'
07 - 'Semplice'
08 - 'Mäßige'
09 - 'Distratta'

10 - 'Puttin’ It Together' - Steven Block
(Abiel Chea Guerra, drums; Jorge Sergio Ramírez Prieto, alto saxophone; Carlos Alejandro Gonzales Guerra, tenor/soprano saxophone; Rubén Gonzales López,double bass; Liset Toppe Benítez, double bass; Enrique Pérez Mesa, conductor)

'And the Huddled Masses' - Sergio Cervetti
(Alden Ortuño Cabezas, clarinet; Leonardo Pérez Baster, violin I; Luis Alberto Mariño Fernández, violin II; Yamed Aguillón Santa Cruz, viola; Lester Monier Serrano, cello; Enrique Pérez Mesa, conductor)
11 - 'The Tired, the Poor, and the Huddled Masses'
12 - 'Hâves, Déguenillés'
13 - 'Noemí Alvarez Quillay'

14 - 'Dearly Beloved' - Christina Rusnak
( Ensemble Vocal Luna | Sandra Santos González, conductor)

15 - 'Dearly Departed' - Christina Rusnak
(Ensemble Vocal Luna | Sandra Santos González, conductor)


Nick Smithson

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