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Classical Music Review

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Composers: David Maslanka, William Albright and David Clay Mettens
Performed by: Fuego Quartet
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 April 2019

The Fuego Quartet, featuring saxophonists Nicki Roman, Erik Elmgren, Harrison Clarke, and Gabriel Piqué, make their Ravello Records debut with Migration, a collection that demonstrates the versatility and complexity of the saxophone as it migrates through genre boundaries...

Migration showcases the work of composers David Maslanka, William Albright and David Clay Mettens performed by the Fuego Quartet. The album opens with 'Recitation Book', a set of five pieces by Maslanka that transform Bach chorales, madrigals, Gregorian chants, and more into various forms and structures.

Albright’s 'Fantasy Etudes', represent loosely-formed, jazzy arrangements by the late 20th-century composer, which transports un into the realm of experimental sounds.

The album concludes with Mettens's 'Ornithology S', which is inspired by visual artist Juan Fontanive’s flipbooks of the same name. The saxophones recreate the sounds of birds singing as they fly, as well as using key clicks and slaps to imitate the turning of the mechanical book.

There's something here for everyone. From the traditional, classical opening 'Recitation Book - Broken Heart' to the experimental, tongue in cheek 'Fantasy Etudes - II. Pypes', to the closing 'Ornithology S', where the instruments take on the guise of birds, there's never a dull moment. Even if you're not into more modern, unconventional classical music, you'll find it hard not to instantly warm to these pieces.

The performances feel both polished and at the same time fluid and fresh, making this an unmissable musical experience.

Track listing:

David Maslanka
Recitation Book
01 - Broken Heart: Meditation on the chorale melody "Der du bist drei in Einigkeit" (You who are three in one) - 4:26
02 - Prelude/Chorale: Meditation on "Jesu meine Freude" (Jesus my joy) - 3:47
03 - Ecco moriro dunque (Look! My death is near!) Gesualdo di Venosa (1596) - 1:31
04 Meditation on "O Salutaris Hostia" (O Salvation's Victim) - Gregorian Chant - 3:22
05 Fanfare/Variations on "Durch Adams Fall" (Through Adam's Fall) - 10:02

William Albright
Fantasy Etudes
06 - Prelude (Index) - I. A Real Nice Number - 4:47
07 - II. Pypes - 3:58
08 - III. The Fives for Steve - 3:25
09 - IV. Phantom Galop - 4:35
10 - V. Harmonium (Heiliger Dankgesang) - 5:08
11 - VI. They only come out at night - 2:49

David Clay Mettens
12 - Ornithology S - 10:40


Darren Rea

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