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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interesting Cello Music

Jacques ROY

(The composer’s/artist’s dates are not listed in the program booklet)

Music for cellos, as performed by Claude Lamothe.

Día a Día [8:12]
La Cathédrale de Bourges [3:50]
L’île aux Monuments [1:51]
V Comme Dans Bach [4:30]
Eine Walzer [4:01]
L’île des Vents [2:44]
Traversées [7:43]
L’île au Printemps [7:36]
See you…[5:15]

Dates of compositions are not listed.
Recorded at Studio Roy, Montreal, June and July 2005.

ANALEKTA AN 2 9808 [45:50]

Cellist Claude Lamothe began his career as a double bassist performing for some years with I Musici de Montreal until he discovered the wonders of the cello. Like his colleagues Matt Haimowitz and Yo Yo Ma, he seems to take great delight in exploring and creating non-traditional repertoire for his instrument, and this disc which has a rather refreshing combination of styles and moods for the most part succeeds quite handily in finding a more populist idiom for the cello.

This disc would not be possible without the aid of studio tricks, overdubbing being the main fare here, as Lamothe performs all the parts himself. Some of the music owes a nod to Astor Piazolla with its tango-esque rhythmic gestures and its Latin harmonies. Other works are distinctly patterned after the free jazz styles of say, Pat Metheny, and there is even the hint of Karl Jenkins present here and there.

Even though some of the music borders on being new agey, Lamothe and his sometimes co-composer and producer Jacques Roy have come up with a brief but arresting collection of pieces that showcase their broad range of tastes, ideas and influences. If you are looking for music that plumbs the depths of emotion or sends you on flights of ecstasy, you aren’t likely to find it here. What you will find is a refreshing three-quarter hour’s worth of interesting and engaging music, sure to entertain if not transform you.

In other cases, I might complain that there is not enough music on this full-priced disc, but I think that at just under 46’ we get just what we need; a pleasant diversion, worthy and well crafted music, and a program that goes right up to the line of gimmick, but thankfully does not jump over.

I have no qualms at all about endorsing this disc, and would wager that many serious listeners would find the lightheartedness of the works here to be a very pleasant side road down which to travel. Recommended.

Kevin Sutton

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