Henderickx Nostalgia; Four Pieces; Makyo; 2 Nocturnes; In Deep Silence III
Boho Strings/David Ramael
Antarctica AR 011 56:07 mins
Nothing here is quite as it seems. An album putatively of music for string orchestra by Belgian composer Wim Henderickx, the works here are not as originally conceived, while the Boho Strings are joined by soloists in all but one piece. This is quintessential Henderickx heard through a different prism, with his usual enticing melange of ingredients and simplicity of gesture, but emphasising delicacy in itself rather than as a contrast. Even that is misleading, though, as the disc opens with the Stravinskian hammering strings that start the Four Pieces, the clarinet of Roeland Hendrikx teasingly dancing around them.
The ensuing Misterioso has greater kinship with what follows, notably In Deep Silence III where the strings hover on the edge of audibility, and 2 Nocturnes in which Valerie Debaele entices with the elegiac flute writing. Lin Chin Cheng is the persuasive marimba soloist in the more episodic dreamscape of Makyo. The highlight, though, is the superb Nostalgia, in which the strings are joined by all three soloists in a re-imagining of a striking work originally written for Middle-Eastern instruments. The Boho Strings, directed by David Ramael, relish the unusual tunings here to cap an excellent debut recording.