As At First

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Extraits Audio : 
As At First (938.77 kb)
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German Promises (938.77 kb)
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Type de média : CD
Date de Parution : 2012
Étiquette du disque : Centrediscs / Centredisques

Pianist and Composer Adam Sherkin’s debut album As At First fuses classical lineage with modern origins. Sherkin interprets his own music, spanning a rich stylistic palette. From Prelude to Meditation, Rhapsody to Sonata, As At First celebrates the possibilities of musical directness and pianistic virtuosity in our own time. The title of the disc and the title track itself allude to certain primeval forces that move us. These forces are, at times, transformative. As At First presents distinctive new music for solo piano, forged in tradition and contemporary relevance.

"Sherkin's music is unmistakably that of a young, living, breathing and very gifted composer.This being 2012 though, he's not really an iconoclast either; instead, his work manifests gentle contradictions. Each piece is varied, even audibly drawing from numerous aesthetics and traditions, yet everything sounds expertly crafted and cohesive. One hears cell-like motives from American minimalism, colouristic Romanticism, as pioneered by Scriabin and Ravel, Satie's peculiar melodic gait and even shades of Messiaen's poised rectangularity, and yet, remarkably, it's in a language of his own. The works are also fluid, yet full of kinks ? stray notes diverging from the anticipated trajectory, belligerent interjections or delicately profuse addendums. A far cry from crass virtuoso showpieces, this collection flatters Sherkin's cogent and sensitive agility on the instrument. Solo piano music is a deceptively difficult pursuit, but Sherkin is right on point, and has produced highly engaging full-length devoted to the medium." - Nick Storring, Exclaim!

There is craftsmanship in this debut album well worth hearing, and a sense of daring in the restraint with which Sherkin handles his virtuosity, giving rein instead to subtle shifts of sense. […]if I had to peg his work on another composer, I would choose Ann Southam, but that is of no importance. What matters is the fine woven mesh of musical lines Sherkin makes, balanced and symmetrical that shifts but never abruptly. Here as elsewhere, there are patches of dark chordal hammering, long silences, and rippling arpeggios suggesting a drama, perhaps romantic, possibly French. [...] The title composition bursts out of the gate in an opulent rush that evokes movement of the whole body. “As at First (2011)” exhibits Sherkin’s preference for well-made three movement forms marked by delicacy and elegant playfulness. His piano tolls deeply and trills, balancing rolling chords in the left and runs in the right, tending in tempo toward a walking andante. His preferred mood is contemplative, reflective, dreamy, dissonant enough not to be easy or predictable, and in the final movement picks up passion rising sometimes to urgent alarm that rumbles in the bass. Cells that sound minimalist build beautifully, rising to rhapsodic with rolling arpeggios aslant slow paced melodies." - Stanley Fefferman, Opus One Review

'This new recording finds Adam Sherkin at a fascinating early point in his career as a composer. [...] his compositions must accommodate the performer’s own fulsome expressivity: the dynamic range of his playing is wide, tending to the forte; his articulation is crisp with a fondness for jabbing accents; his phrasing often features a late-Romantic emotionalism in its rubato, but can also — albeit less frequently — settle into a calmer metric momentum." - Nic Gotham, The WholeNote.


German Promises (2011)
1 Expectation (Erwartung) 1:51
2 Gathering (Mündung) 4:53
3 Fluency (Gewandtheit) 2:25
4 Heyday (Glanzzeit) 4:41
5 Misstep (Unfall) 3:11

6 Amadeus A.D. (2006) 2:24

7 Daycurrents (2009) 5:03

As At First (2011)
8 I. Speed Tracke 4:16
9 II. Echoes and Acorns 5:08
10 III. The Denim Ghost 3:59

Three Preludes (2003)
11 No. 1 'Breach' 3:03
12 No. 2 'Impasse' 2:32
13 No. 3 'Eclipse' 4:24

Meditations (2006)
14 Splendours and Dripsies 1:28
15 River Run 1:47
16 Autumn Tango 1:57

Sunderance (2008)
17 Part I 5:14
18 Part II 3:58
19 Part III 5:09

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