An Excellent Interpreter

1 October 2009 • Phil Brownlee, Pressing On: Radio New Zealand Concert

Atoll ACD 309 • The Perilous Night (for prepared piano solo); First DeConstruction: The Perilous Night (for unpreparing piano and electronics); Portrait de Socrate (piano solo transcription); Le piège de Méduse(for paper-prepared piano); Gnossienne IV (simulated quarter-tone piano version); Bacchanale(transcribed for prepared piano duet with Sarah Watkins); Vexations (celesta version). Tzenka Dianova, piano, prepared piano, celesta

Dianova is an excellent interpreter

The piano is recorded very close, almost to the point of claustrophobia, but this means that the details of the sounds, the rattles and noises, are all clearly present. I particularly enjoy the tension between the interference of the objects on the piano strings and the traces of piano resonance which remain beneath the surface. There’s a delightful accidental quality to the sound materials in Tzenka Dianova’s and Charlotte Rose’s ‘First DeConstruction,’ and a sense of unexpectedness; it sounds like the sort of thing Cage himself would have enjoyed. It’s especially illuminating to hear the music of Satie and Cage side by side, and for the links between the two composers to be brought into focus. The disc provides a lively programme, and Dianova is an excellent interpreter of both composers.