DAVID BRAID (b.1970): Morning for Soprano and String Quartet, Op. 3 (Grace Davidson [soprano], Tippett Quartet), 3 Pieces for Solo Piano, Op. 8 (Sergei Podobedov), Invention for Violin and Piano, Op. 11 (Yuri Kalnits [violin], Podobedov [piano]), Sonata for Quartet, Op. 13 (Peter Cigleris [clarinet], Erato Piano Trio), Infinite Reminiscence for 2 Pianos, Op. 4 (Rossitza Stoycheva, Mikako Hori [pianos]), Music for Dancers for Piano Trio, Op. 9 (Erato Piano Trio), Postlude for Piano, Op. 10 (Jelena Lakovic).
Catalogue Number: 11O089
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0149
Description: These recent chamber works represent the mature style of an intensely self-critical composer who acknowledges a wide diversity of enthusiasms and influences, which have been thoroughly absorbed into a personal idiom. The 2006 Neruda setting Morning is his Op.3, which suggests that earlier, withdrawn, works were necessary steps in synthesizing an individual voice from influences as disparate as Renaissance lute music (the guitar is the composer's instrument), 20th-century tonal masters such as Sibelius and Shostakovich, and post-avant garde Polish composers, notably Lutoslawski. Braid is drawn to the chamber medium; all these works share an intimate, deeply involving sense of personal utterance. Clear, eloquent counterpoint and an elegant purity of line characterize the works, especially the extended vocal piece and the very recent, notably tonal-sounding ensemble Sonata, which combines elements of the Baroque and an English flavor reminiscent of Finzi or Moeran. The piano trio displays a lively rhythmic imagination, and the piano works capture a range of moods, with an emphasis on formal, restrained melancholy.