MARCUS PAUS (b.1979): Cello Sonata, Trauermusik for Solo Cello, 4 Memento Mori for Piano.
Catalogue Number: 12P084
Reference: ACD 5076
Description: The main work here is the five-movement, half-hour sonata. Paus' idiom is tonal and amply reinforces the view that there is plenty of original music still to be written using traditional techniques. The work is clearly indebted to Shostakovich, and there are also distinct echoes of Britten; the amalgam of the two, and a certain Busonian ambiguity of harmony, suggests a composer strongly associated with all three, who has inveighed against novelty for its own sake - Ronald Stevenson, whose admirers will find much to enjoy here. Two darkly humorous scherzi surround a variation-form movement, alternately brooding in Nordic melancholy and dancing a sardonic, very Shostakovich-like waltz. A tensely, impatiently expectant prologue and sombre, autumnal epilogue perfectly balance the symmetrical structure. The solo cello Trauermusik is sonorous and deeply eloquent, with echoes of Bach and Britten; three of the Memento mori pieces, the first distantly suggesting the Dies irae, are slow meditations, while the third suddenly erupts into an episode of slightly frantic energy, swiftly quelled. Johannes Martens (cello), Joachim Kwetzinsky (piano).