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Ana Sokolovic

Music for chamber ensemble

Centredisques CMCCD 11406 [54 mins]

Yugoslavian born Ana Sokolovic, now in her late 30s, completing her Master's degree at the University of Montreal under the fastidious monodist José Evangelista, whom I had been pleased to meet in London. She has lived in Montreal since 1992 and is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Those of you who have taken little or no account of the Quebec music scene have a lot to catch up, and this is a good point to start.

Ciaccona is inspired by Balkans folklore and builds on an eight chord pattern, with cadenzas for clarinet and violin.

Jeu des portraits pays homage to Mathieu, Papineau-Couture, Garant and Vivier "filtered through Ms Sokolovic's own sensibility"; don't fail to follow that link to broaden your horizons. It is lovely music which Idon't hear as derivative. In the last movement tubular bells and gamelan gongs evoke Vivier's sound world (c.f. his Kopernikus).

Her quirky originality and wry sense of humour is expemplified attractively in her five engines, with motorised components and echoes of the countryside through which they are imagined as passing, "fragile manifestations of life".

The delicately scored sentimental geometry reviews the same material from three points of view, ostensibly triangle, circle and square. All the music is clearly conceived and presented with great clarity and appreciation of all the instruments and how they can combine.

The ensemble is of variable consitution, very much like our London Sinfonietta, and under Veronique Lacroix of highest standard; recorded and produced to highest studio standards and with, of course, bilingual English/French texts.


© Peter Grahame Woolf