Various Artists / Poetry of Places, The (Nadia Shpachenko, Piano)
Album: Poetry of Places, The (Nadia Shpachenko, Piano)   Collection:Classical
Artist:Various Artists   Added:Aug 2023
Label:Reference Recordings  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2023-09-17 Pull Date: 2023-11-19 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Nov 5 Oct 29 Oct 15 Oct 8 Oct 1
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 2

Recent Airplay
1. Nov 04, 2023: Music Casserole
Lash: Give Me Your Songs (7:09)
4. Oct 07, 2023: Music Casserole
Young: Kolokol (11:06)
2. Oct 28, 2023: Music Casserole
Kirsten: H.O.P.E. (6:12)
5. Sep 30, 2023: Music Casserole
Spratlan: Bangladesh (15:01)
3. Oct 14, 2023: Music Casserole
Van Zandt: Si an Bhrú (11:52)
6. Sep 28, 2023: Virtually Happy
Matheson: Alone in Waters Shimmering and Dark: Capillary Waves, To Sky, Matheson: Alone in Waters Shimmering and Dark: Island, Kirsten: H.O.P.E. (6:12), Lash: Give Me Your Songs (7:09), Norman: Frank’s House (9:25), Van Zandt: Si an Bhrú (11:52)

Album Review
Gary Lemco
Reviewed 2023-08-31
Recorded August 6-7, 2017, this mix of contemporary works by different composers explores various sound locations to savor the architectural acoustics and particular resonance of the locations, many of which have been enhanced by instrumental and electronic equipment.
Andrew Norman: Frank’s House (2015) for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussionists incorporates aspects of a Frank Gehry-designed home in Santa Monica, CA. A waltz is transformed into a startling, often rowdy, “industrial” sound relying on the home’s solid surfaces. The waltz section in the middle is by Brahms, soon roughly treated. The last 1.5 minutes create a water effect.
Harold Meltzer: In Full Sail (2016) for solo piano. Rather declamatory at first, the piece becomes a light scherzando interrupted by intimate gestures. A canon follows, the voices transparent then more dissonantly jabbing, in thin texture of single notes. The energy runs down, only to rebuild at 5:30 into a dark ballad. The last minute enters a major mode, permitting light into the mix, then retreating into single notes or small clusters for an enigmatic coda.
Jack Van Zandt: Si an Bhrú for piano and fixed electronics (2016) responds to Ireland’s Boyne Valley. In five sections, the piece reflects the immense construct from 3200 BCE, a large, megalithic mound surrounded by stone, an astrological calendar and burial site akin to Stonehenge. Zandt employs continuous variations on repetitive materials that conform to architectural, environmental, scientific and geometrical aspects of buildings or celestial objects. The piece substitutes rhythmic, percussive energy for any discernible, melodic content.
Hannah Lash: Give Me Your Songs for solo piano (2016) derives its impulses from the home of composer Aaron Copland. Lash manipulates song form to parody itself and indulge in angular and asymmetrical styles, making intricate its original simplicity.
Amy Beth Kirsten: h.o.p.e. for piano, toy piano and voice (2016) pays homage to the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. The Big Hope Show 0f 2015 showcased the work of visionary artists who had survived personal trials. The initial impulse from a toy piano reminds one of the gamelan, pentatonic sound of Indonesia. The colors are brightly optimistic, though minimal in motivic variety.
James Matheson: Alone, in waters shimmering and dark for solo piano (2016) consists of three sections, each based on a lake in Pine Plains, NY. The thin line between loneliness and solitude is explored. A startling chord opens the journey, then long periods of silences interrupted by that fff. The piano offers tiny wisps of melodic tissue.
Matheson: The 2nd mvmt, “Capillary Waves,” is more active and dance-like, mostly in running scales.
Matheson: The suite’s 3rd mvmt, “To Sky,” is a placid, soft mediation.
Lewis Spratlan: Bangladesh for solo piano (2015) pays tribute to architect Louis Kahn, who created the building complex for the National Assembly. The five sections of Spratlan’s piece build upon an opening motif in F#, running through the vison of people, buildings, water (in C), construction workers (in G), and the national spirit (in F). The piano assumes the sonority of Eastern instruments and harmonic syntax. Jazz impulses occasionally enter the diverse mix, which exudes some lyricism reminiscent of Debussy and impressionists. The last pages ring with an exuberant dance and mystical epilogue that palpitates potential energy.
Nina C. Young: Kolokol for 2 pianos and electronics (2010) seeks to replicate the 17 distinct harmonies generated by Russian Orthodox Danilov Church Bells transferred from Moscow to Harvard in the 1930s to save them from destruction. The electronics supply in “virtual” piano sound the bells’ pitches that lie outside standard tuning. The piece connects 4 mvmts into one continuous fantasy, based on bell-ringing practice. Though consistently percussive, the piano and electronics attempt to produce a diverse sense of timbre for the distinct approaches to bellringing.

Track Listing
 ArtistTrack Name
1. Shpachenko, Et Al. Norman: Frank’s House (9:25)
2. Shpachenko Meltzer: In Full Sail (7:49)
3. Shpachenko Van Zandt: Si an Bhrú (11:52)
4. Shpachenko Lash: Give Me Your Songs (7:09)
5. Shpachenko, Et Al. Kirsten: H.O.P.E. (6:12)
6. Shpachenko Matheson: Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark: Island (3:52)
7. Shpachenko Matheson: Alone in Waters Shimmering and Dark: Capillary Waves (2:14)
8. Shpachenko Matheson: Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark: To Sky (2:52)
9. Shpachenko Spratlan: Bangladesh (15:01)
10. Shpachenko and Martin Young: Kolokol (11:06)