|Shatin, J.: Dreamtigers - Akhmatova Songs - Werther - Gazebo Music - Secret GroundiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page|
|5.||Akhmatova Songs: No. 1. The Muse||03:05||$0.99|
|6.||Akhmatova Songs: No. 2. All is Plundered||04:06||$0.99|
|7.||Akhmatova Songs: No. 3. The Souls of All My Dear Ones||05:59||$0.99|
|8.||View from Mt Nebo: I. Determined||03:55||$0.99|
|9.||View from Mt Nebo: II. Ecstatic||05:39||$0.99|
|10.||View from Mt Nebo: III. Impassioned||05:44||$0.99|
Judith Shatin may be better known for her computer music, but this first disc devoted to her chamber music may redress that injustice. Her work, after all, is known across Europe, Israel, and Asia, has appeared at the BAM Next Wave Festival and been commissioned by Kronos Quartet and the National Symphony.
Dreamtigers features six works that range from a plaintive cry in the void to a distant view of the unattainable promised land. The title track, Dreamtigers, takes its idea from Borges, who wrote of the tigers he saw in his youth and how he can now only recall them in incomplete fragments. Shatin’s music is likewise colorful, finely detailed, purrs and prowls; a gripping journey among the fauna of the subconscious.
This exquisite new recording features performances by the Da Capo Chamber Players, soprano Lucy Shelton and guitarist William Zito, all produced by Grammy-Award-winner Judith Sherman. Put that combo in your tank
Borges. Goethe. Buber. Akhmatova. There's plenty of literary inspiration behind the compositions on Dreamtigers, but Shatin certainly doesn't allow herself to be limited by her influences. To be sure, there is dramatic depth to these six pieces, but thankfully, Shatin lays the burden of eloquence on the instrumentation, rather than on dense librettos. Vocals are only employed, sparingly, on the three-part "Akhmatova Songs," while elsewhere the Da Capo Chamber Players wrestle marvelously with this challenging material. Shatin's compositional style is difficult, yet enticing, as she avoids much of the clanging atonality that turns many folks off from avant-garde music. Nonetheless, these are far from simplistic pieces; even the lilting "Gazebo Music," which tries its best to be a lighthearted affair, turns into a crashingly contrarian beast. More excellent work from one of America's most underrated composers.
By Jason Ferguson
She seems to be at heart a storyteller, or at least intent on expressing some extra-musical, dramatic concept. Werther, scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, is, at first blush, a thorny, polychromatic work with an imposingly abstract facade, but it is directly inspired by Goethe’s purple 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, which was a major portal to the world of Romanticism. Does the composer have a touch of the Irish poet in her? But then, the Akhmatova Songs, which are at the emotional center of the chamber-music disc, are a pure distillation of the theatrical impulse. Shatin sets the words of the great Russian poet in the original language with care, and matches their beauty, tragedy, and mystery with special insight and concision. Shatin’s music is honored by bright, alert playing from all concerned. Soprano Lucy Shelton can be singled out for her luminous rendition of the Akhmatova Songs.
By Peter Burwasser
Although much of the appeal in these works lies on the surface, both in the immediacy of the sonorities and in the way those shifting timbres never stay put, there is also an artistic seriousness of purpose that keeps them from becoming merely an exercise in sound production. Shatin, who has gained a reputation for writing electronic music with a big heart finds a similar emotional resonance in her more traditional work.
By Ken Smith
...a strong and original voice... Shatin's curiosity and sense of adventure gives this material life... She seems to be at heart a storyteller. Shatin's music is honored by bright, alert playing from all concerned. Soprano Lucy Shelton can be singled out for her luminous rendition of the Akhmatova Songs.
By Peter Burwasser