Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier composed the pieces on disc one of this two CD-package featuring violinist Mark Feldman and cellist Erik Friedlander. Rooted in chamber and slanted towards contemporary, avant-garde classicism, disc two offers a contrasting approach as the musicians improvise their way through nineteen works. One of the most telling attributes of this outing relates to the artists’ flexibility and open-ended mindset. The austere implications of these pieces are offset by sanguine interludes where the pianist’s execution on "Ianuicum," might imaginatively emulate water trickling through a mountain stream. Hence, they purse quietly probing frameworks.
Feldman and Friedlander render staccato lines amid playful banter and structured passages. On the improvised part of the program, the musicians explore minimalism, where less is more. In addition, the classic ECM aesthetic serves as an enhancer to these mood-altering soundscapes. At times, Ms. Courvoisier plucks the piano strings while her band-mates engage in contrapuntal dialogues. They raise the pitch in spots, yet there’s an understated sense of tenderness that infiltrates the overall scope of this multidimensional presentation. It’s not all about rigidly performed opuses, but more about bending the rules just a bit, with the aspirations of creating something that is personalized, and memorably effective. (Recommended.... )