Biggs / Nazro / McGonagil: When You Are Reminded By the Instruments

Biggs / Nazro / McGonagil: When You Are Reminded By the Instruments

Biggs / Nazro / McGonagil: When You Are Reminded By the Instruments

Format: CD

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Title: When You Are Reminded By the Instruments
Artist: Biggs / Nazro / McGonagil
Label: Navona
UPC: 896931004916
Genre: Classical Artists

This new release features pieces from celebrated contemporary composer Hayes Biggs. 'Pan-Fare,' the album's starting point, is a rare modern classical piece for steel pan and a motley, jazz-inflected ensemble. Fun, energetic, and brimming with rhythmic imagination, it is set against an original percussive backdrop provided by, among others, a vibraslap, a marimba, and a Chinese opera gong. The album's title track, 'When you are reminded by the instruments,' is inspired by a verse in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Like Whitman's poetry, Biggs's composition oscillates between the concrete and the fantastical, while the traditional classical instrumental grouping stands in stark contrast to the decidedly modern soundscape it creates. One of the most personal tracks on the album, 'The Trill Is Gone' is a dedication to Biggs's fellow composer and friend, the late Edwin London. This solo saxophone piece paints a memorable portrait of a character that, not unlike it's dedicatee, is equal parts nonchalant, mischievous and sophisticated. In the intimate 'E. M. am Flügel,' melancholic tenderness meets with moments of precipitous furor. Specifically written for Biggs's colleague - and the performer on this recording - Eric Moe, the piece includes quotations of Gregorian chants as well as a fragment from one of the Moe's compositions. Played to perfection, the piece is a true reflection of their friendship. This album holds quite a few surprises, and the Wedding Motet is certainly one of them. This choral work, inspired by Biggs's interest in liturgical texts, is steeped in the album's most obviously tonal musical syntax, harking back to the traditions of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Late Romantic periods. Ochila laEil, the composer's first choral piece set in Hebrew, develops a dialogue between a horn and the choir, mirroring the dynamic between cantor and congregation. With it's varied moods, it manages to distill the power and serenity of an entire oratorio into less than 14 minutes. In short, When You Are Reminded By The Instruments manages to shed light on Biggs's incredibly versatile musical output - light which, indeed, is well deserved.


Audio Sample:
All soundclips are provided by Tidal and are for illustrative purposes only. For some releases, the tracks listed may not accurately represent the tracks on the physical release.
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