Magazine article Gramophone

Larcher: Smart Dust

Magazine article Gramophone

Larcher: Smart Dust

Article excerpt

Larcher

Smart Dust (a). Poems (a). What Becomes (a). A Padmore Cycle (b)

(b) Mark Padmore ten (b) Thomas Larcher, (a) Tamara Stefanovich pf

Harmonia Mundi [F] HMU90 7604 (73' * DDD * [T]/[t])

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Coming to this disc as a Mark Padmore admirer--rather than as someone who has followed the recorded trajectory of the composer Thomas Larcher--this collection of music seems to be a purposeful act of withholding. Padmore is preceded by 21 tracks of solo-piano Larcher, most of them extremely spare, some dating back to when the composer (M965) was aged 12 all unfolding without any illuminating effect on A Padmore Cycle (2010-11) when it finally arrives.

Larcher maintains a fascination with the unadorned note, often played in spacious, uncrowded circumstances that require a certain kind of concentration to determine what sort of an idea is unfolding. There are patches of density and even a strong pulse, particularly in the 2009 suite What Becomes, though one can wait for long stretches to hear something more than a two-note harmony. …

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