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Monday, July 14, 2008

Stéphan Oliva & Jean-Marc Foltz - Pandore (SansBruit, 2008) ****½

I already appreciated Stéphan Oliva's and Jean-Marc Foltz's "Soffio Di Scelsi" last year, now they continue this collaboration, but then without a bass, limiting the interaction to piano and clarinet. The music is as ethereal, as aesthetically beautiful and sensitive as on the previous album, but a little more accessible. It has jazz connotations, but it could as easily be classified as modern classical music, and once in a while some other influences come through, like middle-eastern scales on "Vestiges". The mood is intimate, introspective and meditative, or dark and gloomy as on "L'Imprévue". These two masters never raise their voices, but carefully develop the themes, meticulously, with lots of precision, lots of attention to detail, to silence, to space and pace, and to a balanced delivery. The often abstract themes are fragile and sensitive, and despite their intrinsic romantic angle, they shy away from sentimentality and mellowness, bringing a rich and innovative style of music with lots of emotional depth. All tracks are beautiful, but the last piece, with Foltz's clarinet bending notes in wailing plaintive sorrow over the slow piano chords are absolutely heartrending.

You can download this album from SansBruit at the cost of 6€. You can't be offered more democratic prices than this.

© stef


Anonymous said...

5 and a half start out of 5.
We're overwhelmed!! Thanks.


Stef said...

Thanks Stéphane, I'm not so good at math. I'm sorry I have to take away a star now.


Anonymous said...

No hard feelings. :)