Magazine article Gramophone

M Brouwer

Magazine article Gramophone

M Brouwer

Article excerpt

M Brouwer 'Shattered--Chamber Music' Shattered Glass (a). Clarinet Quintet (b). Whom do you call angel now? (c). Lonely Lake (d). Two Arrangements for Blue Streak Ensemble (d) (c) Sandra Simon sop (b) Daniel Silver cl (b) Maia Quartet; (ad) Blue Streak Ensemble Naxos American Classics [B] 8 559763 (58' * DDD)

Naxos's second recording of the music of Margaret Brouwer begins with the post-event traumatic stress disorder of Shattered Glass and the Clarinet Quintet, each tonally confused over a serial grid, always doing whatever it takes to make the instruments sound good. Sometimes, after repeated listenings, her music turns darker than it sounded at first; but generally Brouwer's absorbing, good-sounding flow of large-scale narrative structure, infused with her attractively elusive sense of melody, tends to separate itself as a splendid physical entity on its own from the deep personal conflicts the composer was wrestling with. Even without the back story, for example, the Clarinet Quintet is clearly a work of masterful intent; the command with which Brouwer creates and develops an evolving relationship between the clarinet alongside and intertwined with the strings ranges so freely in mood and colour that it would be fascinating to follow with the score. …

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