Boomkat Product Review:
Noted Belgian pianist, Stephane Ginsburg performs the work of late, great pioneering figure Frederic Rzewski (Gruppo, Musica Elettronica Viva), including a classic work plus a first presentation of two pieces.
A true pillar of C20th composition, Rzewski passed away in summer 2021, aged 83, and left us with one of modern composition’s most important catalogues - connecting the dots between Gruppo di Nuova Composazione (Ennio Morricone, Roland Kayn, et al) and the influential Musica Elettronica Viva ensemble including Alvin Curran and far beyond. Rzewski’s 1994 work ‘De Profundis’ is a major influence on Belgian performer of new music, Stephane Ginsburgh and witnessed the pianist perform it many times, leading him to write two works for Ginsburg, ‘Dear Diary’ (2014), and ‘America: A Poem’ (2020) which make their first appearance here, with recordings made during their premiere at ARS MUSICA festival in Brussels 2020.
Ginsburgh’s familiarity with ‘De Profundis’ (1994) is patent in his opening performance, demanding the perfumer speak and play piano at once, and conjures peculiar juxtapositions of the two. ‘America: A Poem’ (2020) follows with a similar sort of wit and curiosity evident from its opening flurry of notes and what sounds like the performer flegging on the stage, and continues to oscillate between probing keys and unpredictable, sometimes grotesque coughs, splutters, sawn-off utterances and discordant jabs in a poetic observation of American prosaic. ‘Dear Diary’ (2014) is relatively shorter and in five parts that zig-zag in the face of contemporary classical convention.