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Andrea Cheeseman: Somewhere


Composers: Various
Performed by: Andrea Cheeseman
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 September 2019

Clarinetist Andrea Cheeseman's new album, Somewhere, is released through Ravello Records and for lovers of the instrument this will be a welcome addition to your music library. This is an album of electroacoustic works that expand the clarinet repertoire to new heights while also showcasing Cheeseman in the genre where she feels most at home...

Personally I really enjoy these solo artist releases which focus on one instrument, and more so with this release. It's not very often you get to hear solo clarinet works - piano and flute, yes, but rarely the clarinet. And from a technical point of view it is interesting to hear such a lovely instrument brought to the fore.

The album opens with 'Arioso/Doubles', the E.E. Cummings-inspired 'Somewhere', and 'Messy' - whose title is derived from a young daughter's analysis of her mother's abstract paintings - allows Cheeseman the opportunity to fully express herself.

'Ultraviolet' and 'Penelope's Song', the latter using recordings of a weaving loom as a foundation for the lonely but resolute responses to challenges by Odysseus’ faithful wife in Homer’s epic, are a little more rigid in construction, but still allow for Cheesman's personality to shine through.

'Breath', once again, allows more fluidity to the performance, before concluding with the upbeat, almost quirky (did I hear the voice of a Clanger?) 'Favorable Odds'.

While this won't be to everyone's taste, I found it a refreshing diversion.

Track listing:

Benjamin Broening
01 - Arioso/Doubles (2002) (7:43)

Matthew McCabe
02 - Somewhere (2015) (7:22)

Mark Snyder
03 - Messy (2008) (6:38)

Kirsten Volness
04 - Ultraviolet (2007) (3:22)

Judith Shatin
05 - Penelope's Song (2008) (9:20)

Joseph Harchanko
06 - Breath (2005) (8:01)

Mark Phillips
06 - Favorable Odds (2018) (10:00)


Darren Rea

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