mare tenebrarum (sea of darkness, Piano sonata #2…) stretches the traditional notion of a piano sonata. It is a highly temperamental emotional outpouring in an improvisatory manner divided into two movements, Sempre allegro and the other Presto possibile…  the total effect was strongly cathartic – a release of inner rage and the question of resolution. If in the first movement we are tossed about in a summer storm, the second movement included a few hurricanes. In the end we are – contrasted with the brightest stars in the darkest night, alone afloat in a vast sea, here we wonder and stare up into the night sky.

The second work on the program was… a finely crafted composition by Piotr Grella-Możejko. His… Euphonia was composed in 1998 and dedicated to the Penderecki String Quartet and the distinguished Polish philosopher Bohdan Pociej. The program notes indicated that the composition was based on a specially constructed twelve-tone row that allowed Grella-Mozejko to compose the quartet using tonal chords, a theme that recurs throughout the piece and various other interesting compositional devices that do not necessarily resonate with other compositions that fall into the realm of classic serialism. The Penderecki String Quartet produced an effective and convincing performance that brought out every nuance of the composition. The piece calls for extreme precision of playing and the Penderecki String Quartet were able to satisfy the requirements without making the performance sound overly technical.

Piotr Grella-Możejko’s maze, haze, mist, daze for flute choir was a serial piece, but did not sound like it, being quite melodic, with a very distinctive theme. The opening had an Arabic and medieval feel, with the rest of the piece conveying a sense of open, airy desert-night space. I especially liked the section of fast moving notes through the tone row, with a high melody played in the piccolo, and the fast section repeated very effective flutter-tongue. The Alberta College Flute Choir performed the piece impeccably, with two of each of the following: flute, piccolo, alto flute, and bass flute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *