Juan Trigos

 

Miniatura para Bartok. Originally composed in 1995 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Bartok’s death, this revised version for ensemble dates from 2003. Cello and pianoforte immediately set the dreamlike overall tone of the piece, reinforced  by the violin which holds a single note (an E) with a sensation of gradual movement over the rhythm played by the percussion. The clarinet also comes in on just one note (B flat minor) and although the flute is rather more dynamic, it too soon takes up an ostinato series of notes (E F D etc.). Obviously, the composition hinges on a few essential sounds and the short variations of the opening melody leave the overall static impression unchanged. The pianoforte builds the individual notes into chords while the strings alternate pizzicato and arco and dynamics are kept low and dusky. Harmonics on the violin lead into a section with the instruments in greater relief. After launching into flight, a B in the upper treble from the flute signals the start of an intricately interwoven section which gradually unravels over a series of in and out of tempo sounds diminuendo. The material and the way it is played are derived from Bartok’s Bulgarian Dance Number 5 and the rhythm is divided as follows: 2+2+2+3. This is played by the drum as a sort of moto perpetuo underneath the revisitation of Bartok’s original by the other instruments. No listener will have any difficulty in being drawn in by the apparently simple charm of the piece, with its repetitively attractive phrasing. The performers ensure that any hint of the mechanical in the score is kept at bay through their ability to put their technique first and foremost at the service of the music, making the composition thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. A highly effective work then, one which stays faithful to the spirit of Bartok while demonstrating that the composer is very much his own man.

 
 
 
 
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