Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anna Stafford – Bread

An interesting year for this reviewer. Not one original string quartet composer, but two. The composers travel on two different planes. Where Nataliya Medvedovskaya was traditional, and told a full story with her pieces, Anna is reaching for an audience with pop sensibilities, like myself. I appreciate both approaches to composition. I found that Bread introduced me to the value in a light-hearted piece of serious composition, nothing to challenge my expectations, but lovely enough for me to think how this would sound great live at a dinner party, whereas Nataliya’s work would sound perfect in a concert hall. Besides that, what eartaster would ever leave bread on the table? This one is worth savoring.

The shoutout tune, Green Walls, is also intriguing – it starts off very light, almost Beatlesque in tone, and half way through develops a voice of its own, exploiting the strengths of the voices working together to create storm-like tonalities for a climax, with a repeat to reassure us that composition still includes anti-climax to bring the listener down. Feels like a love song, with an argument in the middle. Of course, they kiss and make up by the end. Traditional pop with strings, complete with a totally expected ending. Fun stuff. Anna Stafford