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Jazzman, Choc du mois

Not since Penderecki’s heyday have I been so bowled over by music which so compellingly fuses startlingly inventive and ear-tingling string textures and timbres with the emotional passion and drive of a “Verklärte Nacht” or “Metamorphosen”. …
The starting point for Folio was provided by Nicolai Evreinov’s play The Theatre of the Soul, which, to quote Guy, ‘demarcates characters into the rational, emotional and subconscious aspects of the soul’. This helps structure the music’s textural multi-layering and architectural shape, which is experienced as though part of a dream-like trance. Maya Homburger’s Baroque violin plays the role of the ‘emotional’, while Barry Guy’s double bass improvisations symbolise ‘rationality’ and Muriel Cantoreggi’s modern violin and the Munich strings represent the ‘subconscious’. …
So charismatically involving is this truly virtuoso performance that at times … it feels as though the entire ensemble might literally explode with excitement. With only twelve players in the orchestra, everyone becomes a soloist, and the result is a stunningly engineered rollercoaster ride of unremitting emotional intensity.
Julian Haylock, The Strad

The hour-long Folio was Barry Guy’s response to a very specific commission from the BT Scottish Ensemble… It was, though, a prescription tailor-made for Guy: as well as a composer he is also a double-bass virtuoso who makes regular forays into the jazz world, and his wife Maya Homburger is a distinguished baroque violinist. The result of all these happy connections is an intriguing, multi-faceted work: a sequence of self-contained pieces linked by a series of improvised commentaries for the double bass and baroque violin, which carries its considerable weight of extra-musical associations lightly. … However, the textures and the command of musical layering and string techniques are impressive on their own terms.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Folio is a hugely ambitious piece. It consists of a series of improvisations for Barry Guy’s own double bass, sometimes with Maya Homburger’s baroque violin, interspersed with five movements for Muriel Cantoreggi’s modern violin and string orchestra. Additionally, there are two sequences, based on Diego Ortiz’s Recercada Primera of 1553, serving as a bridge between baroque violin and modern instruments. … He proves himself a composer of sure instincts with this absorbing work, which combines spontaneity and shapeliness, stasis and excitement.
Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times

L’œuvre … tresse et alterne partitions orchestrales et improvisations de l’un ou de deux des solistes. Pas plus que le langage instrumental du contrebassiste, les improvisations des deux violons n’étonneront les habitués des musique improvisées européennes, mais on reste confondu par le naturel qui les portent cette écriture libre de tout dogmatisme et qui nouent ensemble les deux discours en un matériau d’une aussi peu discutable cohérence.
Franck Bergerot, Jazzman

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