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  • Remy Franck, pizzicato

"it is varied and attractive, the Munoz-Butt duo once again shows itself to be inspired and spontaneous in its interpretations"

"In a program as thematically coherent as it is varied and attractive, the Munoz-Butt duo once again shows itself to be inspired and spontaneous in its interpretations. This is especially true of the new composition ‘The Bird Fancyer’s New Delight’ by Canadian composer David Braid, which is not only technically well done, but also has a lot to say musically. The work, composed in 2023, is based on the musical anthology written around 1715 by English composer, music publisher and instrument maker John Walsh, who combined his own compositions with those of composers such as Purcell, Hotteterre, Rameau and Monteverdi, in which bird calls were imitated.

The liner notes state: « Braid selected five melodies from this collection and used them to compose a new, five-movement work by artfully distorting and transfiguring the original themes. For example, the theme of the canary in the second movement – entitled Canary PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) – becomes a sphere of sound through a unique use of flute and piano resonance intermingling, creating an eerie aura of space and isolation and thus alluding to the bird’s lamentable situation. This album’s theme, freedom versus the lack of freedom, is expressed here in a direct and harrowing way. »

The pieces by Mel Bonis and Clara Schumann are played with great sensitivity and expressiveness, and I must emphasize the pianist’s sensitive playing.

Amy Beach’s romantic Sonata in A Minor from 1896 was originally written for violin. The Munoz-Butt Duo did not use Alexa Still’s transcription, but their own arrangement.

The first movement is lyrical and leads into a lively, capricious scherzo with a purely meditative piu lento section. The piano opens the Largo with the marking con dolore, which also contains more passionate moments. The urgent, late-romantic finale is played with great excitement, after which the simple melodic song « Ich wandre durch Theresienstadt » by Ilse Weber, who was murdered by the Nazis, brings the program to a moving close, as the two performers do not simply play through the melody, but transform it with hesitation and faltering into an incredibly impressive work."



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