JON WARD BAUMAN (b.1939): Metaphor and Andante Cantabile for String Quartet, Piano Quintets Nos. 1 and 2, Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp, Rondo for Solo Guitar.
Catalogue Number: 07K095
Description: All these pieces are very accessible, tonal and above all melodic. The one exception is the first quintet (1963), a tough, thorny piece which departs considerably from conventional tonality, unlike the other works here, all but one of which hail from the past few years. By no means avant-garde or unapproachable, it nonetheless hails from different æsthetic territory. Bauman studied with B.A. Zimmermann in the 60s, and while the quintet doesn't embrace quite that level of modernism, the composer plainly moved a long way in the direction of a consonant and less challenging vocabulary since. The 'halfway' piece is the harp trio (1984), which has a somewhat questing, unstable tonality, but is nonetheless a very appealing work. The other works all appear to be deliberately simple and warmly, instantly accessible; the contrast between the two piano quintets is especially marked, while the quartet works are uncomplicatedly 'friendly' and entertaining. Quarteto Umbro, Alessandro Rosseletti (piano), Marco Nicolé (guitar), Maria Chiara Fiorucci (harp).