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Tamara Stefanovich, Mark Padmore - Thomas Larcher: What Becomes (2014)


Tamara Stefanovich, Mark Padmore - Thomas Larcher: What Becomes (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 184 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included | Time: 01:13:19
Genre: Contemporary Classical, Modern Composition | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU 907604

Thomas Larcher s sound world is both original and captivating in its fusion of contemplative harmonies with innovative performance techniques. Written for and performed by tenor Mark Padmore, 'A Padmore Cycle' features the composer at the keyboard. Works for solo piano performed by Tamara Stefanovich round out this programme of first recordings. Born 1963 in Innsbruck, composer Thomas Larcher studied piano and composition in Vienna. He first gained renown primarily as a pianist, performing with major orchestras and prominent conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez and Franz Welser Möst. In 1998, he began to define himself more clearly as a composer. Since then he has composed works for the San Francisco Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, the Belcea Quartet, and for Leif Ove Andsnes, Matthias Goerne, Mark Padmore and Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley. He has recorded five CDs with ECM, most recently 'Madhares' with Kim Kashkashian, Till Fellner and Dennis Russell Davies. Thomas Larcher has won numerous distinctions, including the Choc de la Musique and the British Composer Award (International category) 2012. The UK premiere of A Padmore Cycle, orchestrated version will be in November 2014 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

A Padmore Cycle, Thomas Larcher's songs written in 2011 for tenor Mark Padmore, sets poems by Hans Aschenwald and Alois Hotschnig. The gnomic texts sometimes seem to occupy similar territory to those of Schubert's great song cycles. But if Larcher's settings, which are beautifully tailored to the colour, clarity and expressive strengths of Padmore's voice, evoke any specific 19th-century song composer it is Schumann.

Larcher accompanies the songs himself, but he entrusts three of his solo-piano works to Tamara Stefanovich. None of the Poems, "12 pieces for pianists and other children", lasts more than three minutes. As with the seven longer numbers of What Becomes, they range between winsomeness and nagging obsessiveness, although Stefanovich plays both sets with tremendous gusto. She finds a bit more in the prepared piano writing of Smart Dust , but even here there is a nagging sense that Larcher's music rarely amounts to anything more than the sum of its parts.

Review by Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Coming to this disc as a Mark Padmore admirer – rather than as someone who has followed the recorded trajectory of the composer Thomas Larcher – this collection of music seems to be a purposeful act of withholding. Padmore is preceded by 21 tracks of solo-piano Larcher, most of them extremely spare, some dating back to when the composer (b1965) was aged 12 – all unfolding without any illuminating effect on A Padmore Cycle (2010 11) when it finally arrives.

Larcher maintains a fascination with the unadorned note, often played in spacious, uncrowded circumstances that require a certain kind of concentration to determine what sort of an idea is unfolding. There are patches of density and even a strong pulse, particularly in the 2009 suite What Becomes, though one can wait for long stretches to hear something more than a two-note harmony. Arvo Pärt can be similarly pared down, Messiaen similarly oblique but with a sense of a larger experience behind it (the nature of which may not be easily explicated but you know it’s there).

The special qualities of A Padmore Cycle would emerge in higher relief if surrounded by something more traditional. As it is, there’s nothing new about the extended keyboard techniques that characterise the Hans Aschenwald and Alois Hotschnig texts that, in the hands of a composer such as Kurtág, might be flinty shards of experience but here seem like haiku blobs. The piano-writing is more than remote; it’s distant. So numerous are the extended vocal techniques – loud exclamations, whispering, murmuring just above the level of audibility – that Padmore is barely allowed to sing. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of composing for him?

Review by David Patrick Stearns, Gramophone















Performers:
Tamara Stefanovich, piano [1]–[21]
Mark Padmore, tenor [22]–[32]
Thomas Larcher, piano [22]–[32]

Tracklist:

Smart Dust:
01. I. Very slow (06:11)
02. II. Very fast (03:41)

Poems
12 pieces for pianists & other children:
03. I. Sad yellow whale (02:02)
04. II. Cantabile (01:36)
05. III. Babu Chiri's house (01:03)
06. IV. Waking up in Najing (00:42)
07. V. (The day) When I lost my funny green dog (00:49)
08. VI. A little piece for Ursu (01:12)
09. VII. Frida falls asleep (01:11)
10. VIII. MUI 1 (01:07)
11. IX. One, two, three, four, nine (02:45)
12. X. Twelve years old (00:55)
13. XI. Don't step on the Regenwurm! (02:12)
14. XII. A song from? (03:01)

What Becomes:
15. I. Wertfrei (03:20)
16. II. Parabolic bike (03:48)
17. III. Slow (02:19)
18. IV. Scherzo (02:05)
19. V. Fission (04:09)
20. VI. Isaac (01:12)
21. VII. Flowing (03:13)

A Padmore Cycle
on poems by Hans Aschenwald & Alois Hotschnig:
22. I. Ich schreibe heute durch (00:07)
23. II. Almauftrieb (03:30)
24. III. Hart am Herz (02:10)
25. IV. Familie Numero drei (03:11)
26. V. Hunger nach Heimat, die keine mehr ist (00:20)
27. VI. Los los (01:44)
28. VII. Ferdl (04:02)
29. VIII. Und beim Weggehen schmilzt aus den Augen der Schnee (01:44)
30. IX. Lange zögern die Steine (02:26)
31. X. Dein Wort mein Blindenhund (01:55)
32. XI. Der Körper des Vogels am Weg (03:23)


Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 1. May 2015, 18:13

Tamara Stefanovich, Mark Padmore, Thomas Larcher / Larcher - What Becomes

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Range status and errors

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Filename C:tempHMU907604 - Larcher - What Becomes (Stefanovich, Padmore, Larcher - HARMONIA MUNDI)Larcher - What Becomes.wav

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==== Log checksum 861CB6B02DF47220373039835404A1D82B64D5CE4C6B4E79DA3511CE01CAE552 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-01-22 00:46:53

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Mark Padmore, Thomas Larcher / Larcher - What Becomes
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR10 -3.29 dB -21.39 dB 0:08 22-A Padmore Cycle - I. Ich schreibe heute durch
DR17 -6.30 dB -33.70 dB 3:30 23-A Padmore Cycle - II. Almauftrieb
DR14 -19.93 dB -41.93 dB 2:10 24-A Padmore Cycle - III. Hart am Herz
DR16 -9.24 dB -34.15 dB 3:11 25-A Padmore Cycle - IV. Familie Numero drei
DR12 -2.44 dB -19.64 dB 0:21 26-A Padmore Cycle - V. Hunger nach Heimat, die keine mehr ist
DR16 -10.45 dB -35.23 dB 1:45 27-A Padmore Cycle - VI. Los los
DR18 -1.71 dB -26.67 dB 4:03 28-A Padmore Cycle - VII. Ferdl
DR8 -30.36 dB -42.07 dB 1:45 29-A Padmore Cycle - VIII. Und beim Weggehen schmilzt aus den Augen der Schnee
DR12 -20.03 dB -36.93 dB 2:26 30-A Padmore Cycle - IX. Lange zцgern die Steine
DR12 -1.70 dB -20.70 dB 1:56 31-A Padmore Cycle - X. Dein Wort mein Blindenhund
DR13 -16.42 dB -37.46 dB 3:24 32-A Padmore Cycle - XI. Der Kцrper des Vogels am Weg
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 11
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 313 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Tamara Stefanovich / Larcher - What Becomes
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR18 -2.77 dB -27.61 dB 6:12 01-Smart Dust - I. Very slow
DR18 -0.24 dB -23.07 dB 3:41 02-Smart Dust - II. Very fast
DR15 -16.63 dB -39.59 dB 2:02 03-Poems - I. Sad yellow whale
DR13 -15.25 dB -36.30 dB 1:36 04-Poems - II. Cantabile
DR10 -27.11 dB -41.44 dB 1:03 05-Poems - III. Babu Chiri's house
DR11 -6.18 dB -21.99 dB 0:42 06-Poems - IV. Waking up in Najing
DR12 -17.19 dB -34.06 dB 0:49 07-Poems - V. (The day) When I lost my funny green dog
DR14 -24.55 dB -44.88 dB 1:12 08-Poems - VI. A little piece for Ursu
DR11 -3.63 dB -21.34 dB 1:12 09-Poems - VII. Frida falls asleep
DR13 -12.82 dB -33.66 dB 1:08 10-Poems - VIII. MUI 1
DR16 -10.79 dB -39.00 dB 2:45 11-Poems - IX. One, two, three, four, nine
DR12 -4.05 dB -21.59 dB 0:56 12-Poems - X. Twelve years old
DR15 -9.17 dB -32.47 dB 2:12 13-Poems - XI. Don't step on the Regenwurm!
DR13 -10.43 dB -32.67 dB 3:01 14-Poems - XII. A song from?
DR16 -16.15 dB -39.88 dB 3:20 15-What Becomes - I. Wertfrei
DR15 -2.99 dB -28.14 dB 3:49 16-What Becomes - II. Parabolic bike
DR16 -5.76 dB -29.09 dB 2:19 17-What Becomes - III. Slow
DR14 -0.81 dB -20.27 dB 2:05 18-What Becomes - IV. Scherzo
DR15 -0.26 dB -19.12 dB 4:10 19-What Becomes - V. Fission
DR13 -13.77 dB -34.43 dB 1:13 20-What Becomes - VI. Isaac
DR17 -6.71 dB -31.48 dB 3:13 21-What Becomes - VII. Flowing
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 21
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 313 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================


All thanks to original releaser - A-Z