MOON: Piano Sonata; Submerged; In Transit; Guernica; Inter-Mez-Zo; Toccata; Ode; Piano Fantasy; Nursery; The Secret; Prelude. Beata Moon, piano. Naxos 8.570347. 60 minutes.
Composer/pianist Beata Moon performs a program of her own compositions on this new Naxos release. Performing your own compositions entails risks on both sides of the “/”. When composing for your instrument you will be tempted to equate your limits as a player with the limits of the instrument””to write what you can play. If you are playing your own music the temptation may be to play what you meant whether you wrote it or not.
I haven’t seen Beata Moon’s piano music in print, so I can’t comment on the accuracy of her readings of her own compositions, but it is hard for me to escape the idea that her comfort zone as a player has a great deal of influence on her music. The music, all of it well-crafted and pianistic, stays within a relatively small expressive and technical range.
Within that range, it can be very good indeed. The Sonata is a solid work, a 17-minute statement of the composer’s view of the instrument. The harmony is unabashedly tonal, the melodies capable of carrying the expressive weight and structural duty they’re given. There’s a lot of monorhythmic writing in this piece (and in most of the others on the disc), and to my ears it keeps the music from going to places it seems to want/need to go.
Ms. Moon is a fine player, her technique is clean and her musicality fits the music she is playing.