O'riordan: Autumn Winds
Format: COMPACT DISC
Moss, Ann; Dutilly, Peter; Roadfeldt, Holly
New from Ravello Records comes AUTUMN WINDS, a collection of chamber music composed by Kirk O’Riordan. The music, which features pianist and PARMA recording artist Holly Roadfeldt along with soprano Ann Moss and Peter Dutilly playing viola, is as challenging as it is alluring; O’Riordan takes listeners to the outskirts of tonality in order to elucidate questions of beauty, existence, and mortality. The first piece, Four Beautiful Songs, explores competing notions of attraction. It is the only piece featuring all three performers. A brazen, dissonant cluster of tones from the piano opens the curtain on this provocative performance, with Moss’s soprano line sung above a frantic accompaniment. The piece juxtaposes the rush of infatuation with the bitterness of rejection. Next is Prayer Stones, a marked departure from the first. The viola embarks on a series of short meditations over the piano, as if gently palming a sacred stone while contemplating the ineffable cosmos. Autumn Winds comes next—a setting of 15 haikus by Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Each movement, only minutes long, reflects upon the phrase “autumn winds,” each time reinterpreting its meaning. The collection concludes with Beautiful Nightmares, a minimalistic take on the serialism of Schoenberg that portrays the transcendent surrealism of the dream world. Lovers of early 20th century art music will no doubt take great pleasure in Kirk O’Riordan’s AUTUMN WINDS, but they are far from the only ones who will; O’Riordan’s music will fire the imagination of all those fascinated by life, language, and the distinct challenge of expressing poetry and poetic themes in song.