KUNIKO - cantus - SA-CD.net

Firstly, the playing: in Pärt's 'Fur Alina', Kuniko uses dazzling crotales above a soft, constant vibraphone; the effect is beautifully simple. Next up is Steve Reich's 'New York Counterpoint', arranged for marimba, which in the outer movements has the effect of waves of sound washing over the listener (in MCH). Returning to Pärt for his 'Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten', this enormously powerful yet sparse piece originally for strings is sensitively played by Kuniko on tremolo marimba's that emit wave after wave of sound that, in MCH, engulf the listener most powerfully.

...Davies' 'Purl Ground' follows and this is a very sombre and moody conception which is vividly portrayed; Kuniko evokes unsettling emotions and is a measure of the power of her performance. Pärt closes the disc with 'Spiegel im spiegel'; so successful is the performance that one is not concerned with the instrumentation in the slightest.

The recording is very very good in MCH; in 'Fur Alina', the layout seems to be in a huge arc that envelopes the listener - very effective indeed. In 'New York Counterpoint', 'Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten & Fratres', the sensitive choices of positioning add a huge amount of textural clarity and spatial interest to the proceedings. The distant bell of the 'Cantus' is marvellously evocative. 'Purl Ground' and 'Spiegel im spiegel' are both well recorded too, with 'Spiegel' apparently laid out in a similar way to 'Fur Alina' (we go full circle in MCH!)...the timbres and overtones are captured with extraordinary beauty...

26 August 2013