Review of “…through which the past shines…” by Nils Vigeland/Reiko Füting/Daniel Lippel/John Popham, New Focus Recording, 2018
Two Variations (1990)
01 I. Double Nils Vigeland (b. 1950) Daniel Lippel, guitar 4:10
02 “…through which the past shines…” Nils Vigeland (b. 1950) Daniel Lippel, guitar, John Popham, cello, Nils Vigeland, piano 21:27
03 wand-uhr: infinite shadows Reiko Füting (b. 1970) Daniel Lippel, guitar 6:29
04 Hine ma Tov (arrangement of trad.) Reiko Füting (b. 1970) Daniel Lippel, guitar 4:18
05 Red Wall Reiko Füting (b. 1970) Daniel Lippel, guitar 11:03
La Folia Variants (1996) Nils Vigeland (b. 1950) Daniel Lippel, guitar
06 I. Cadenza 2:35
07 II. Sonata 5:29
08 III. Dances 7:11
Quodlibet (2011) Nils Vigeland (b. 1950)
09 I. Freshman Year Daniel Lippel, guitar, John Popham, cello 2:50
10 II. Sophomore and Junior Year Daniel Lippel, guitar 2:59
11 III. Senior Year 5:57
Two Variations (1990) Nils Vigeland (b. 1950)
12 II. Distant Serenade Daniel Lippel, guitar 3:31
Hine ma Tov – Digital Bonus Track (arrangements of trad.) Nils Vigeland (b. 1950)/Halldór Smárason (b. 1989)/Daniel Lippel (b. 1976)
13 Hine ma Tov Daniel Lippel, guitar 8:09
Daniel Lippel’s records are curious. They have the oblique ability to never be the same. The sound maybe yes. Sound intended as a style, as an imprinter of the interpreter, as a mental and physical elaboration, as a personal contribution of the performer to the composer’s creative work. As an encounter, fusion, grafting of two creative minds, as the appropriation and continuation of a work begun by another creative mind. In this CD we have the composers Nils Vigeland and Reiko Füting who offer us these compositions, mostly recent, created between 1989 and 2011, for solo guitar, for duo guitar and cello and, in one case, in trio with piano, played by Vigeland himself.
Nils Vigeland was born in Buffalo, NY in 1950, the son of musicians. He made his professional debut as a pianist in 1969 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Lukas Foss, conductor. He later studied composition with Foss at Harvard College, graduating with a B.A. in 1972. He earned his Ph.D at The University at Buffalo where he studied composition with Morton Feldman and piano with Yvar Mikhashoff. His own work appears on CDs from Mode, EMF, New Focus Recordings, Lovely Music, and Naxos. His choral music is published by Boosey and Hawkes.
Reiko Füting was born in 1970 in Königs Wusterhausen, just outside of Berlin in the former East Germany. He studied composition and piano at the Academy of Music Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden before moving to the United States to pursue graduate degrees at Rice University and Manhattan School of Music. Füting’s primary teachers include Jörg Herchet and Nils Vigeland (composition) and Winfried Apel (piano). Füting has been a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music since 2000.
In the booklet that accompanies the CD Daniel Lippel cites the tension of these music suspended in balance between the security offered by the past and the tension towards the future. It’s a complex balance. The risk is yet another neoclassicism. The risk is in self-referentiality, the fall in a vicious circle in which the music reassures because it sounds as already listen to before and at the same time bores as derivative. Excess? The lack of communication of languages. The rejection of a shared expression.
This risk or rather these two risky possibilities seem to me excluded from the music in this cd. They are not pretentiously unlistenable, they don’t sound boringly as already listen to before. They express contemporaneity, express a social, economic, cultural reality that has gone beyond post-modernism, which plays with all styles, and in which the only apparent limit is the imagination and courage of those who compose and perform. This record is a masterpiece.