Barry Guy Folio Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

Virtuoso double-bassist Barry Guy performs his own composition, a spellbinding...

Andrew McGregor 2006

Folio: a printer's leaf, a sheet of paper folded into pages...and seeing his ideas and drawings for this piece laid out on several pages is what gave Barry Guy the idea for the title. But perversely, it's one of those works whose subtleties are almost impossible to unpick in print: you have to hear this to make sense of it.

One starting point for Guy was 'The Theatre of the Soul', a play from 1912 by Nikolai Evreinov, in which the soul is divided into rational, emotional and subconscious aspects.

Guy plays with those three states, and keeps them separate with his brilliant and imaginative scoring: the rational soul ("now") is the composer's own improvised double bass part, which commentates on the Folios around it. Baroque violinist Maya Homburger is the emotional soul ("actual reality"), and a tonal contrast to modern violinist Muriel Cantoreggi, who with the strings of the Munich Chamber Orchestra and conductor Christoph Poppen represents the subconscious ("perceived reality")...and the whole soundscape glitters with detail, delicious collisions between baroque and contemporary improvisational ideas, and some startlingly effective sounds.

Add an immaculate ECM recording, and it becomes an evocative, intense, and often very beautiful experience.

Like This? Try These:
Ligeti: Cello Concerto (Siegfried Palm)
Terje Rypdal: Lux Aeterna
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Exodus

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