“Ben Hoadley is one busy bassoonist and, though Southern Invention, his new album with Dean Sky-Lucas, describes itself as "music for bassoon and piano from Australia and New Zealand”, it's not quite true.
The opening 4 Stucke by Danish composer Soren Nils Eichberg was written offshore for Hoadley to perform downunder in 2014. This is eminently civilised music, in an idiom that shouldn't ruffle a moderately adventurous listener, welcoming us with a sinuous bassoon solo. Later, the two create dashing ensemble, as they move from moody contemplation to teasing synchronicities and contrapuntal banter.
Most of the Australian fare is listener-friendly from Gordon Kerry channelling Debussy chords to the easyflow ambience of Elena Kats-Chernin's Nonchalance.
Larry Sitsky's 1984 Maherq is the old-school exception, a solo lament that has Hoadley achieving musical alchemy with its treacherous extended techniques.
Of the three New Zealand works, John Rimmer's Southern Invention has the same romantic glow that Hoadley has already revealed in concert. Southern Invention benefits from a professional recording and presentation by Wayne Laird and his Atoll team." – William Dart, NZ Herald, 10 October, 2015. 5 Star review.
Music by Soren Nils Eichberg, John Rimmer, Matthew Hindson, Gordon Kerry, Ross Harris, Elena Kats-Chernin, Gao Ping and Larry Sitsky.
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