NOAH CRESHEVSKY – The Four Seasons


Sherman Friedland, Al Margolis: clarinets; Alex Kontorovich: clarinet, alto sax; Audrey Betsy Welber: tenor and alto sax; Teodross Avery; tenor sax; Ben Holmes: trumpet; Susan Watts: trumpet, voice; Monique Buzzarté: trombone; Ray Marchica, Gregg Mervine: drums; Adrian Banner: piano; Tomomi Adachi, Jeremiah Cawley, Amy Denio, Beth Griffith, Kathy Hanson, Chris Mann, Maria Mannisto: voices; Gary Heidt: guitars, voice; Rodney Jones, Marco Oppedisano: guitars; Rich Gross: banjo; Mari Kimura, Amy Zakar: violins; Orin Buck, Lonnie Flaxico, Heather Chriscaden Versace: basses

After several years of conversancy with Noah Creshevsky’s production, I’m still struggling to explicit a rigorous theory substantiating my recognition of his creations as wholly natural phenomena, in spite of their composite anatomical configuration portrayed with a mix of pictorial precision and “hyperrealistic” wittiness. The Four Seasons (the Vivaldi quote, paradoxically, links the memory to a worn-out evergreen much detested by your reporter) encloses various methodological aspects and a good number of samples/snippets taken from the composer’s earlier output, eventually resulting in a compendium of sorts.

The fulfillment deriving from this hardly definable music essentially depends on a specific addressee’s mental fine-tuning. Due to the enormous quantity of information transmitted, a man’s mnemonic capacity is subjected to a session of hard training. Think of a scenario where one’s delusional presumption goes “I got it, that’s…” prior to the subject’s pummeling by another dozen of dizzying flurries in the space of ten seconds. Creshevsky – intertwining frenzied counterpoints and inspired unpredictability – is so meticulously proficient in reshaping every single fragment that all of them, even the ones that might sound “up in the air” on an unfocused listen, appear as THE components needed for a given circumstance.

This particular record also comprises brief interludes separating the main movements, featuring awkward vocal patterns in a made-up language (say “thanks” to a cut-and-seam job worthy of a surgeon’s) accompanied by less dense instrumental parts. However, the core of the matter resides in the spectacular poly-everything produced by hordes of performers within the multi-genre kaleidoscope. Creshevsky is classically trained, thus well aware of the weight that solemn canons or conventional cadenzas can add to certain sections. Nevertheless, with this category of virtuosity, getting lost in the maze of persistent transmutation is a possibility. The crucial divergence comes from the deus ex machina’s eagerness to cross-pollinate absurdist fantasies and abrupt incidents inside stylistic twisters, the whole scented with hints of orchestral orthodoxy. An example among hundreds, “Winter” ends with an inebriated Klezmer band suddenly calmed down by a sensual jazz singer concluding her song.

This gentleman is capable of synthesizing a sizeable chunk of sonic history in multihued pills, each one a definite upgrading of our condition of snoopy percipients. If you are meeting Noah Creshevsky’s vision for the first time, The Four Seasons represents a heartfelt suggestion for a toe-dip approach. Just set your neural constitution on full receptiveness mode before pushing “play”. In the meantime, the connoisseurs have already acted.

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