Classical reviews: May 24

''Home is where ...''. Donald Maurice (viola), Richard Mapp (piano). Atoll CD

This duo of New Zealand musicians performs Douglas Lilburn's Salutes to Seven Poems, George Enescu's Sonata in the Bohemian Folk Character and Boris Pigovat's Sonata for Viola and Piano.

Ukrainian-born Pigovat emigrated to Israel in 1990, but each of these works is linked with the composer's strong sense of original cultural identity and place.

Lilburn translates into music a ''kiwiness'' in tributes to seven NZ poets (Fairburn, Sinclair, Curnow, Joseph, Baxter, Smithyman and Mason) with an ''Epilogue''.

Enescu (1881-1955) shows his Russian heritage and bases his Sonata on special effects portraying the plight of the Lautari as oppressed refugees in Romania.

Maurice successfully transposed both the Enescu and Lilburn works down from the original versions written for violin.

Highlight: Mellow sounds with a message.

Naga. Gamelan Padhang Moncar, Gamelan Taniwha Jaya. Rattle CD

Wellington-based gamelan groups take turns in a programme of 12 contemporary compositions. Padhang Moncar is a central Javanese-style ensemble of Indonesian instruments on permanent loan to Victoria University School of Music from 1980.

It is directed by Budi Putra and managed by Jack Body. Taniwha Jaya (commissioned by Gareth Farr in 2003) is in Balinese gong keybar mode and directed by Farr.

I found the opening track Headrush, composed by Farr, was a standout item. It was created to extend performance skills within the group but vibrant deep bass gongs and fast interlocking figurations impress.

Works by other composers feature percussion and native instruments, some violin and even musical saw. These pieces were first presented in concert in 2003. Well recorded.

Highlight: Mood music conjures the East, novel sounds.

 

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