This is one of two simultaneous releases of Dr. Clare Fischer's rather engrossing compositions—the review for the other, Music for Strings, Percussion, and the Rest is here—and their release is predicated upon the maestro's son Brent's archival work for his sire. Thank God that labor was undertaken because this disc's contents were written in 2001, and I can't believe it took 13 years for them to finally see the light of day. Brent reveals that his forebear, while studying the classics (Bach, Bartok, Shostakovitch, etc.), mastered the playing all wind and string instruments, and that, I have no doubt, is what imbues his work with such an encompassing depth of understanding about every element.
I have to highly recommend that anyone who has troubles accessing what Brian Eno has calls the 'dead musics' (classicalist works) start with Clare Fischer's discs as he adroitly crosses the boundaries of all epochs to come up with what his archivist son rightly calls "an absolutely idiomatic manner". Though the most appropriate citation of categorization might be to place Clare within a neo-Romantic genre following upon Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Saint Saens, and others, there are profuse strains of every period of the full classicalist domain here.
The 11:15 Homage, for instance, perhaps my favorite piece between both CDs and a part of the triadic Time Piece suite, is pointedly more neoclassical than anything else, even to the point of taming Penderecki in its pizzicato interludes, while imbuing essences of Rachmaninoff and Satie episodically. The arrangement alone is stunning and as modern as just about anything you'd care to name, including Kurtag and Kancheli with, I kid you not, even a flash-insertion or two of Sousa. ECM will be eating its own teeth to not have grabbed such work first. Riveting.
But expect as much in modern and antedated chamber work as out-there neoclassicalism and trad orchestral refrains and opuses. Listening to After the Rain is not an afternoon's confection, as so much of the stereotypical classical canon tends to be, but an adventure. And to those who might have noted the title as one of Terje Rypdal's as well, I have no doubt Rypdal, also a daring musician and very interested in outré symphonics, will be thoroughly engrossed in Fischer's release.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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