"Another rich and deeply satisfying CD from this Duo" - Terry Robbins, The Wholenote
"Banish any prejudices you may have about contemporary classical music being inaccessible or overly complex, and hit play on Incarnation, the amazing new album from Duo Concertante featuring five new Canadian works. It's seriously good. Dahn and Steeves… focus on getting to the heart of each piece, which they do without fail. The music traverses an impressive range of textures and emotional states."- Robert Rowat, CBC Music
Incarnation features world premier recordings of five pieces written especially for Duo Concertante by Chan Ka Nan, Denis Gougeon, Alice Ho, Jocelyn Morlock and Andrew Staniland. Performed by Duo Concertante: Nancy Dahn, violin and electric violin; and Timothy Steeves, piano.
In Incarnation, Chan Ka Nin pays tribute to Schubert by echoing themes derived from works such as "Death and the Maiden", Fantasy in C for violin and piano, and "Who Is Silvia". This new work is titled Incarnation because in a way, it revives Schubert’s spirit. In Chan Ka Nin tries to relive how Schubert composed, to rediscover his state of mind, and at the same time to rework his ideas in a contemporary context, as if Schubert’s spirit were travelling through modern times.
Jocelyn Morlock's Petrichor explores an emotional landscape of anticipation, joy, and release, such as a person might feel upon experiencing the first rain after a long drought. The music is gleaned from the first movement of Bach’s Sonata in G major for violin and keyboard. The contrasting moods of the piece vary from whimsical to ecstatic, becoming calm and serene at the end.
Andrew Staniland's The River Is Within Us is an intense lyrical work inspired by T. S. Eliot’s famous Four Quartets in which the seasons create a striking subtext. The idea of the river as a metaphor figures heavily in the music.
Denis Gougeon's Chants du Cœur consists of two movements. Chant du Cœur I is slow, giving the melodic material entirely to the violin, with the piano supplying the accompaniment in a dark and serious mood. Chant du Cœur II uses the first notes of "Flow my tears", by John Dowland. Here the mood is livelier and the range of emotion and dynamic more highly contrasted.
Alice Ping Yee Ho's Cœur à Cœur (Heart to Heart) is conceived as an imaginary conversation between two voices exchanging inner thoughts and confessing their feelings to each other. There is an emotional aspect of the music that suggests a deep affection and mutual understanding, like the support and receptiveness between players in a duet. The music moves from expressive lyricism to high animation, and concludes in transcending high notes uttered by both instruments, signifying everlasting tenderness or consolation.
The members of Canada’s premiere violin and piano ensemble, Duo Concertante, are partners in music and in life. Known for their brilliant, passionate performances, critics have praised Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves’ "artistry, poetry, and impeccable technique" (La Scena Musicale) and "deeply integrated performances that flow naturally as if the music were being created on the spot" (Gramophone).
Catalog: MAR 479
Read the complete booklet notes, including biographies of the composers.
1. Andrew Staniland: The River Is Within Us (Listen)
Denis Gougeon: Chants du Cœur
2. Chants du Cœur I
3. Chants du Cœur II
4. Alice Ping Yee Ho: Cœur à Cœur
5. Jocelyn Morlock: Petrichor
6. Chan Ka Nin: Incarnation
Total playing time: 63:22