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Classical Music Review

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The Myth of Tomorrow


Composer: Eric Klein
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 January 2018

Navona Records releases a collection of composer Eric Klein's music on his new album The Myth of Tomorrow.

The album opens with a quartet for piano, violin, cello, and clarinet, entitled 'Nettles'. It's a flighty piece with a rhythmic dexterity that hints at Klein’s background as a film/media composer.

This is followed by the album's title track, 'Myth of Tomorrow', which is an exploration of the keyboard percussion instruments and the distinctive aspects of the harp.

The three part 'Hoboken Suite' opens with the flute and free-bass accordion centric track which is subtly backed up by strings and bass clarinet woodwinds. The second movement is much slower and represents a more reflective, melancholic experience, before we enter into the Bernard Herrmann-esque suspense of the third movement.

'Dream Fragments', a sonata for piano, which almost sounds like two pianists engaged in a battle, when in fact it's one pianist. As the piece moves forward electronic instruments are introduced at various periods. This, for me was the hardest track to listen to - mainly as it's not the most instantly accessible track here. But, give it a few listens and you'll soon appreciate the subtleties.

'1899' explores Americana themes of composers including Samuel Barber and Charles Ives. To Klein it evokes “the iconic elegance of [Aaron] Copland’s ‘Quiet City’ and the paintings of Edward Hopper.” This modern-day hymn song is a memoriam for the composer’s grandfather.

'Parallels' represents a play on anxiety and confusion, while the four part 'Four Journeys' is a guitar centric collection of themes.

'Hidden Places' sees Klein play with juxtaposed timbres - vibraphone against piano; strings against brass - creating a colourful cacophony of exploratory sounds and textures.

A thoroughly enjoyable album that proves that modern compositions are just as important as some of the classics.


Darren Rea

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