Besser and Bravura: Decadence Live (Atoll)

 |   |  <1 min read

Besser and Bravura: Hudson River 1
Besser and Bravura: Decadence Live (Atoll)

The music of Auckland-based, New York-raised pianist/composer Jonathan Besser -- often with the group Bravura -- has long deserved a broader audience than the classical world which it inhabits.

Working with guitarist Nigel Gavin, bassist Peter Scott and violin player Miranda Adams (among others) whose reach stretches to experimental music, soundtracks, jazz and contemporary classical, and yet keeping an ear on his Jewish past (klezmer influences) as much as chamber music has allowed Besser to create a portfolio of music over five albums which can be engaging or enthralling, reflective or vibrantly alive.

This 17-track retrospective of Bravura music recorded live in late 2008 is like a vigorous journey from the stately (pieces from the album Mr Darwin's Dances) through tango and ballet pieces to a five minute encore on a klezmer.

There are mischievious dialogues between Adams and Gavin, driving percussion by Yair Katz, Tatiana Lanchtchikova's romantic accordion and of course Besser at grand piano.

As an overview of a decade this hits the mark dead centre. Recommended. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Virginia Wing: Ecstatic Arrow (Fire/Southbound)

Virginia Wing: Ecstatic Arrow (Fire/Southbound)

The previous album by this London duo out of Manchester was an often uneasy amalgam of emotionally cool pop, hard-edged electro-beats and an art school kind of 21st century synth-pop. This time... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

Just as Achtung Baby and Zooropa represented a watershed period for U2, so The Bends of '95 and especially OK Computer of two years later marked a turning point in Radiohead's still-young career.... > Read more

MEL PARSONS INTERVIEWED (2015): And the road goes on forever

MEL PARSONS INTERVIEWED (2015): And the road goes on forever

On a wet Monday morning in Wellington, Mel Parsons takes a break from rehearsals in the Surgery studio with her band and, cheerful as ever, talks about her new album Drylands which she is taking... > Read more