Review: Seattle Chamber Music Society premieres Currier’s “Voyage Out”

Posted on: July 19, 2019

“The Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival has started its second half with a July 15 program of particular merit,” writes Melinda Bargreen in Tuesday’s (7/16) Seattle Times. “The annual world premiere, funded by the festival’s commissioning club, is always an eagerly awaited event….  Sebastian Currier’s new ‘Voyage Out,’ for piano and string quartet, got an impassioned reading from violinists Yura Lee and Jun Iwasaki, violist Jonathan Vinocour, cellist Raphael Bell, and pianist Jeewon Park. Densely scored and rhythmically challenging, this performance often sounded like a work for chamber orchestra, not just a quintet. The opening vigorous statement, which reappears later in a more frenetic form, gives way to slow drooping string chords that slide gracefully downward. The piano plays an angular melody as the quartet offers a wistful tonal accompaniment, as if regretting the decline of harmony. Spooky tremolos and gently slumping figures suggest the sagging clocks in Dali’s famous painting, ‘The Persistence of Memory.’ Finally, amid eerie twitterings and harmonics from the strings, the piano plays a simple line that dwindles off, like the emanations of a distant planet.” Also on the program were Fanny Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in E-flat Major and the Dvořák Piano Quartet.

Posted July 19, 2019