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Classical Music Review

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Missing Words


Composer: Eric Nathan
Label: New Focus Recordings
Release Date: 21 January 2022

New Focus Recordings release the world premiere recording of composer Eric Nathan's Missing Words. Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Brass Quintet, cellist Parry Karp and pianist Christopher Karp, International Contemporary Ensemble, Neave Trio, and Hub New Music, this 84-minute magnum opus is a six-part series inspired by German words invented by writer Ben Schott in his book Schottenfreude (2013) that describe ineffable experiences of contemporary life...

Eric Nathan's Missing Words is a 6-part work spread over 2-discs (23 track, 1 hr, 23 min, 55 sec). There's a good mix of traditional and modern classical performances here. But thankfully it never strays too far into the avant-garde. However, there are still huge passages which feel like filler material designed to stretch the piece for as long as possible.

Ironically, for an album called "Missing Words" the review files we received had missing titles with what appeared to be a random collection of letters and numbers. Now, while this probably meant something to the producers, it means nothing to the layman. I'm not even sure if they were listed in the correct order, as the composer intended. Hopefully this won't be the case on the digital files for those buying this collection.

Overall it was an interesting enough listening experience, but sorting the enjoyable parts from the filler material isn't really worth the effort. But then, I prefer my classical music to be a lot more melodic.


Darren Rea

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