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Betsy Jolas B for Betsy

Quatre Duos; Pièce pour; Quoth the raven; Pièce pour Saint-Germain;
Ruht wohl; Episode sixième
for viola solo; B for Sonata

Geraldine Dutroncy
(piano), Laurent Camatte (viola)

Hortus HOR099

An absorbing sequence of music for viola, viola and piano, and piano solo for Betsy Jolas' 85th birthday in 2011. Not easy to "understand" technically, but full of feeling which is of paramount importance to her.

The booklet notes are elegantly produced but are tantalising, because it is hard to find what is written about individual works, and in the end not very helpful. Her own introduction is better, she is a great communicator - see those hands !

Peter Grahame Woolf

Jolas & Manoury

This DVD of commissions for violin, clarinet & piano is problematic, because I cannot think that many readers will be interested equally in both these composers.

Betsy Jolas is a delight to meet as is her trio to listen to.

She makes no bones about starting to think about the Vedehr commission by considering the Bartok archetype for this combination, and she talks interestingly about her life and eclectic influences, from earliest music to rap.

Her piece is accessible and a pleasure to hear; the filming and presentation is better than on some earlier volumes in this huge Verdehr collection.

Phillipe Manoury (b 1952) is a product of the Stockhausen/Boulez era and has been engaged on live electronics research at Ircam. His English is hesitant and his trio listenable to, but the interview off-putting to the ordinary music lover. Nonetheless, this series earns a prominent place in all musical academic libraries.

Peter Grahame Woolf