The Phenomenon Of ThreesThe Phenomenon Of Threes

Trios For Flute, Clarinet And Piano

Innova Records

Suite for Flute, Clarinet and Piano, Lawrence Moss
Breezes of Yesteryear, Dinu Ghezzo
Circular Motions, Richard Brooks
Isomorphic Plenum, Harold Oliver
A Time To…, Ron Mazurek

Esther Lamneck, clarinet; Keith Underwood, flute; Martha Locker, piano

The five works on this disc are nothing like I thought they would be. With the instrumentation of flute, clarinet, and piano, I imagined that the music would be showpieces for the woodwinds while the pianist provided some kind of obligatory backdrop. Instead, I found delightful and engaging chamber music. It is nice when that happens.

Each of the five works has its own sense of fluidity and flow. Lawrence Moss’ Suite is a delightful collection of miniatures, rich with color and vibrant gestures. Breezes of Yesteryear is an impressionistic-inspired fantasia that swims through time and timbres. Richard Brooks’ three movement Circular Motions takes the performers through spritely and playful material, keeping everything light and airy the whole time. Isomorphic Plenum is the thorniest work on the disc but is engaging and compelling with rich contrapuntal lines and long, sinewy passages. The final work, A Time To… is an energetic and passionate work with abstracted electronic sounds which are well-orchestrated into the acoustic fabric. I preferred the shuffled vocal textures over the synth punctuations, but everything works well together.

The performances on the disc are first-rate. The ensemble has a wonderful sense of blend and a smooth, rich sound overall. The cohesiveness in their playing makes every piece shine, shimmer, and sparkle regardless of compositional language. I can’t wait to hear more from them!

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