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10/10 Avi

YEDID, YITZHAK - Reflections Upon Six Images - CD - Between the Lines - 2007

review by: Avi Shaked

Two major aspects are usually involved in the inspection of classical music: the quality of the piece and the quality of its performance. Reflections Upon Six Images, however, doesnít require the distinction, as the musicís performance goes hand in hand with its originator, Israelís Yitzhak Yedid. Furthermore, the work features improvised sections that are well assimilated into the composed music, making the contribution from Yedidís collaborators ó Francois Houle on clarinet, Galia Hai on viola, and Ora Boasson Horev on double bass ó all the more essential to the final result.

The 2004 recording has an ethereal quality into it, with a stronger sense of freedom than Yedid's Myth of the Cave. The integration of the improvised playing with the written structures results in a more singular achievement than the aforementioned 2003 album.

The pieces are evolving and breathing. There are less unison movements this time, and more contrapuntal conversations and menacing themes that penetrate through the serenity. At times, the threats retreat as if they are restrained by harmonies; while at other times, usually in an outbreak of one instrument over the others (take, for example, the alarming clarinet screams on "Second Image"), the threats become real, breaking through the divine themes and leading to a catharsis.

Yedid, a fine pianist with a background in classical music and jazz (both he and Boasson Horev played on the imaginative and abstract 2006 release by the Julia Feldman Ensemble Words are Worlds), brings a free, earthly spirit into his classical compositions, which blend heavenly esthetics with disturbing dissonances. The percussive manner in which Yedid plays the piano, on top and aside majestic, elevated movements is an evident feature of the way the two genres contrast and consolidate into a fresh form of expression.

The multi-cultural fusion are not only those of genres, but also of geographical locations, as one can spot Arabic scales merged with the European chamber music motifs, portraying sublime, universal sceneries.

From its energized, powerful movements to reflective quasi-static ambience, Reflections Upon Six Images is a brilliant and engaging recording that exemplifies beauty and depth in music. (10/10)


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