Matalon: Trames II, IV, VIII

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Matalon
LABELS: Musicales Actes Sud
WORKS: Trames II, IV, VIII
PERFORMER: Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth
CATALOGUE NO: ASM 05

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Following their recent Saint-Saëns recording on historical instruments (reviewed August 2011), Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth now turn to the Parisian-based Argentinian composer Martin Matalon, with evident relish. Roth is a keen advocate of Matalon’s music and this disc captures gripping performances of three pieces from his Trames series. Literally ‘weft’, the title can also translate as ‘threads’. These works explore the boundary between chamber music and concertante pieces. As Matalon explains: ‘My Trames simply suggest the interweaving inherent in each composition, the thread of Ariadne within.’

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The three presented here are engaging works. Like other recent composers, Matalon seems, in Trame II, to view the harpsichord as an essentially manic creature. Nonetheless, the instrumentation, which includes bandoneon and steel drums, is treated with great sensitivity, the music periodically dissolving magically into silence. The fizzing piano moto perpetuo of Trame IV is even more driven, right until the exquisitely unexpected coda. The questioning marimba of Trame VIII appears at times to be in a mesmerising half-remembered, improvised dream, eventually resulting in an eerie concluding shiver. The three soloists are entirely convincing in this compelling music. Les Siècles are an ensemble to watch. Christopher Dingle