URI CAINE (b.1956): 12 Caprices for Piano and String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 03M103
Label: Winter & Winter
Reference: 910 171-2
Description: This CD teams the avant-garde jazz pianist-composer, known for his controversial reimaginings of classical and romantic music, with the Ardittis, known for playing anything, so long as it's modern enough. Compared to a good proportion of the Arditti's repertoire, with an emphasis on fearful complexity and every conceivable extended playing technique, quite a bit of what they play here is relatively conventional, harking back to tame old conservatives like Bartók and Stravinsky. Some of the pieces have an improvisatory feel of an exchange of ideas between strings and piano (though what appears to be a session photograph on the CD sleeve suggests that they are in fact notated); some have a strong rhythmic element, others are more fragmented and pointillistic, and little scraps of almost identifiable classical music surface from time to time as part of the texture; No.6 and parts of No.11 are the nearest to jazz reinventions of classical pieces; No.8 is the closest to a jazz piece per se. Caine's piano part runs the gamut between cascading figuration, jazz chords, improvisatory counterpoint to the string material, and brittle, modernist gestures. The booklet contains no information whatsoever on the music apart from reproductions of 12 abstract, somewhat cartographical oil paintings labelled with evocative titles and each one associated with one of the Caprices. Uri Caine (piano), Arditti String Quartet.