Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Collected Works of Beth Mehocic


Composer: Beth Mehocic
Performed by: Various
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 January 2022

The music of composer Beth Mehocic is celebrated in Collected Works of Beth Mehocic, with commissioned pieces, tone poems, and various styles colliding in celebration of her extensive breadth of repertoire. It sees early works like 'Piece by Piece' alongside the more recent 'Left of Winter', 'Picasso’s Flight', and others with performances from Trio Casals, Croatian Chamber Orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Altius Quartet, Zagreb Festival Orchestra, and more...

Collected Works of Beth Mehocic showcases the composer and her incredible ability to deliver music in various styles. I'm not a fan of avant-garde music, where the current state of play is to throw out the rule book and to punish the musicians by forcing them to go against years of training and make a din. So, when the opening 'Piece by Piece' begun I had visions of this being a very uncomfortable listen. But it soon moves on to more melodic works.

'Piece by Piece' was released in 2017 as a solo work on Piece by Piece. It was originally commissioned to honour the work and life of Lucia Dlugoszewski, who is known for her developments in avant-garde music technique and experimental music.

'Somewhere Between D and C#' is another piece that leans a little too much towards the avant-garde.

Moving onto the good stuff: 'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - I. Moderato' is a rich and layered piece which reminded me a lot of classically scored '80s soundtracks. There was a hint of John Williams here.

'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - II. Lento' opens with, what I presume, is a beautiful homage to Claude Debussy's 'Clair de Lune', before opening up to deliver a wonderfully rich piece.

'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - III. Allegretto' is more playful as it flits and darts from segment to segment.

'Left of Winter' was previously available Prisma: Vol 2. It was composed as a prelude to Stravinsky’s 'Rite of Spring'. It has the same primal rhythms as Stravinsky’s ballet, but with the addition of cymbals, trumpets, and winds that paint the image of young men going off to war.

'Picasso's Flight' is a wonderfully frenetic sting based piece which also gives a nod to Bernard Herrmann's music for Psycho.

The album concludes with the three-part 'Tango Concerto'. Here Mehocic spreads her net as far and wide as possible. It's culturally diverse and visits so many parts of the orchestra that it feels like a much bigger work than it is. I could have listened to so much more of this. At times it feels like a stream of consciousness pouring out of the composer.

A varied, rich and beautifully conceived collection of some incredible works by a very talented artist.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Digital album
Digital album