One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation


absolutely thrilling


immediacy and spontaneity


Schumann Lieder


24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs


‘Box of Delights.’


J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue


GERNSHEIM Quartets
a most welcome issue


I enjoyed it tremendously


the finest traditions of the house


music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message


ground-breaking, winning release


Charpentier
screams quality


Surprise of the month


English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Keith BARNARD (b. 1950)
Nocturne (1991) [8:28]
The Ascended Healing Rays of the Cosmic Light (2007) [52:59]
The Palace of His Wang Mu (1991) [12:40]
Jeffrey Grossman (piano)
rec. 21 May 2008, Futura Productions, Roslindale, Massachusetts.
MÉTIER MSV28516 [73:23]

Keith Barnard’s only mention on MusicWeb International to date has been in Philip Scowcroft’s 146th Garland of Light British Composers, though with an admission that he doesn’t really fall under the category in the usually accepted sense. The booklet notes explain that Barnard’s music is “often explicitly linked with healing and colour rays”, outlining influences that include Romantic era composers such as Chopin and Liszt, moving through the mysticism of Scriabin and Alan Hovhaness. This CD was released in 2010 but unavoidable circumstances led to its promotion being somewhat neglected, so we’ve been invited by Métier to catch up on it.

Nocturne is indeed a “short and evocative night piece”, with rising tonal scales that slowly explore pianistic resonance, creating a deep atmosphere that is underpinned by a section with low clusters that for a time gently disrupt the beautiful sounds above with amorphous balls of sound.

The Ascended Healing Rays of the Cosmic Light was written for Jeffrey Grossman, the pianist in this recording. At 53 minutes this is a pretty vast musical canvas, but the music is by no means all sparse and static. The “great white cosmic light” is represented by tremolando passages that at times extend into chorale-like tonal progressions, and there are faster flourishes, melodic sections and sparing, transparent arches of sound - the rondo nature of the structure bringing each idea its own space to evolve over time.

Long duration is no guarantee of something meditative, but in following this music’s ebb and flow you will at times find yourself approaching inner reflection, only to have your inner eye woken to new and sometimes quite tumultuous worlds. My own inner debate with this work is not about its duration or even its content, but I’m not quite at ease with the segmented nature of its structure. There are indeed longer sections in a single ‘mood’, with for instance the feeling of distant and exotic bells and gongs. Like ripples on water, you don’t always appreciate someone throwing in stones that will disturb your contemplation, and my personal choice would have been more of a vast arch form with more interlaced transitions and a unity of development within and echoing between larger sections.

The Palace of Hsi Wang Mu depicts the jade palace of Eastern Asian Buddhist bodhisattva Kuan Yin, or Hsi Wang Mu. This is a slow and indeed meditative piece, its open intervals creating a feel of Asian shapes, and closer intervals adding resonance and a sense of wonder rather than introducing dissonance.

Superbly performed by musical chameleon Jeffrey Grossman, this is a recording that places the piano just a little further away than some, keeping the sound full but helping generate an atmosphere that suits this music well. If you like vast, exotic landscapes and the type of music that can transport you into realms that might have been hinted at in your more pleasant dreams then this is a fine place to take those journeys.

Dominy Clements

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger