Boomkat Product Review:
New music composer Tim Parkinson highlights the endless versatility of Apartment House in five chamber works written 1998-2017 and recorded in recent years
The London-based composer, and sometime performer with Apartment House, tasks the ensemble in various formations - solo, duo, quintet and septet - on the first recordings of pieces at Goldsmiths Music Studio and St John The Baptist’s Church, Dethick, in the Derbyshire Peaks, from 2020 to 2022.
Mira Benjamin performs ‘Violin Piece 1999’, cutting a lonesome figure alternating precise, spacious minimalism with more pastoral motifs. ‘Septet 2007’ for septet of Heather Roche (bass clarinet), Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), Kathryn Williams (flute), Mark Knoop (piano), Bridget Carey (viola), and Gordon MacKay and Mira Benjamin (violin) is more angular, urgent in its call-and-response across the stereo field. ‘Violin and Piano Piece (1998) pairs Siwan Rhys (piano) and Mira Benjamin (violin) in quizzical dialogue with lingering lacunæ leading to brooding conclusions and counterpoints. ‘Ensemble 2012) for string and wind quintet is the album’s brightest and loosest parts, undulating and evocative as Peak District topography, and ‘Violin and Piano 2017’ concludes in a relatively cinematic swell of complex emotion arising from Siwan Rhys (piano) and Mira Benjamin (violin) asymmetric spirals.