Stories » On 'The Poetry of Places,' Nadia Shpachenko valiantly navigates the now tranquil, now tumultuous waters of eight new works / Rafael's Music Notes

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On 'The Poetry of Places,' Nadia Shpachenko valiantly navigates the now tranquil, now tumultuous waters of eight new works / Rafael's Music Notes

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The Poetry of Places, Nadia Shpachenko's CD recorded in 2017 and just now released by Reference Recordings is a celebration of new music featuring a formidable pianist in the company of top practitioners in the field. Andrew Norman's Frank's House opens the CD with an ironic musical commentary on the use of contemporary construction materials overlaid upon a 1920's bungalow  transformed by architect Frank Gehry in 1977 into a residence for his family.

Throughout The Poetry of Places, Nadia Shpachenko valiantly navigates the now tranquil, now tumultuous waters of eight new works, six of them commissioned by and dedicated to her. The CD comes to a close with Nina C. Young's Kolokol, for which Joanne Pearce Martin is again called upon as second pianist. The two pianists bring to life the sounds of Russian Orthodox church bells, which the composer skillfully replicates and then manipulates all the while retaining the actual ringing of the replicas of the seventeen 13th century Danilov Bells that hang in a tower in the campus of Harvard University. Mixing and remixing the bell sounds with multiple virtual pianos, the resulting collage defies traditional concepts of harmony, melody and counterpoint, and creates in their place a sonic tapestry that brings Nadia Shpachenko's The Poetry of Places to a jubilant ending.

READ THE FULL Rafael's Music Notes REVIEW