PHILIP CORNER – Pieces From The Past: By Philip Corner For The Violin Of Malcolm Goldstein


Long-time friend and artistic collaborator Malcolm Goldstein is the man in charge of turning Philip Corner’s scores – notated (in peculiar ways) or less – into violin expressiveness of the unadulterated kind. The five compositions comprised by this disc run a temporal gamut that goes from 1958 to 1985; they’re all comparable to the picture of someone who, all of a sudden, meets an old sage who opens his/her eyes by indicating a path and, from that instant on, nothing is the same in that being. Goldstein’s supreme command of the bowed nuances is absolutely necessary in translating the equally essential directives of the composer to the ears of a listener. It’s music that literally follows lines (the opening “Philip Corner’s Piece For Malcolm Goldstein by Elizabeth Munro”) while expanding the borders of conceptualization. Gravelly sounds on the strings and cleaner range-jumping figurations might represent the psychological ups and downs that alter our quotidian; the stretching of unsteady pitches seems to call everybody to a moment of real concentration, an infrequent occurrence under the very bad presages elicited by the current years. The only track in which Goldstein is not alone – “Gamelan Maya” – sees the presence of his comrade at the piano, accompanying the violinist with scents of Palestine (not in the geographic sense, I mean Charlemagne). Yet the mesmerizing keyboard hammering is contrasted by the asymmetry of the melodic phrasing, and – again – once can’t escape the thought that, like it or not, all of this belongs to a single experiential container.

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