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Don't CATch the MOUSE
Concert Music for Woodwind Quintet
ISMN M-700128-65-4, GEMA Work No.: 10144109-002
Review by Oleg Garaz

The play and the smile are two keywords of this work destined to 5 clarinet players. But it is only apparently, as each of the ensemble instruments can be replaced with another, conferring this work an impressive multitude of timbre "personalities".
The references to the jazz-rock stylemes (the "slap" procedure on the bass-clarinet and the syncopations implicit to the style), the stake on the imitation procedure, on the entries "in tiers" of the instruments of the ensemble, on the counterpointed "crowd" of the melodic lines and the rhythmical accents, not to mention the semblances of "glissandi" and the "tremolos" like a swirl of wings, they all converge to a frothy and tumultuous "collage". The choreographic substance of the musical approach opens an alternative track, yet obviously complementary to the resources of the instrumental theatre. If the music of this work totally achieves an invasive audience-oriented eruption, why couldn't we assume that it could "captivate" the interprets just as well? Starting from here we could imagine a true stage "melée" where the interprets would truly simulate live the interaction of the musical themes, the latent harmonies getting coagulated into a spontaneous and apparently hazardous way, the rhythm, the apparently homogeneous timbres, yet "blown up" from the interior by the "sonorous-acoustic personality" which is so well underlined by each instrument.

The theme and the texture of the narration belong to the childhood-specific type of the imaginary that personifies the domestic animals in one's own house: the cat and mice, the eternal enemies and adversaries, the infallible aggressor and the frightened victims, but all the more so refractory, set to crunching and despising anyone and everyone who come to interfere with their intentions. A child's imaginary world is a syncretic one, it is a world where everything communicates and is in harmony with everything so it becomes truly obvious that the energies of the imagination are going to be put to work in order to "rectify" the injustice: the mice will have to come to some kind of agreement with the cat and their fellow human cohabitants, and they will all have to learn the principle that says: "live and let live".

The musical image, powerful and well-traced, sends the audience directly to the perfectly assembled "unevenness" of a melodic-rhythmic polyphony, and the idea seems to be that two opposites represent, at the same time, two corresponding identities as well, which match one another based on the criterion of radical alterity. The mice represent a cumulative character, an autonomous thematic ensemble, whose rhythmic-melodic pulsation is, in fact, the dynamic support of the entire work: they are the vindicative "marginals" in search of an "existential solution". The procedure which is purely composition-oriented, technical, suggesting the evolution of the entire relational context first draws the attention by articulating the characters in succession - which is a sign of the disagreement and of the conflict, but throughout the development and especially at the end of the work, the heterogeneous-successive conflicts of the characters become homogeneous by a synthetic and synchronous way of exposing, and both possibilities of suggestion enter a total accord from the point of view of proper technique and composition.

This work's whose suggestive spontaneity, the lively jest of rhythms, the "naughty" character of the melodies and of the counterpoint joining represent the consequence of a technological sum of methods used with a whole lot of intelligence. The methods applied in this work "live" and "let live", all the while collaborating and intersecting one another; thus the homogeneity of the entire material is built with the help of a subtle technique of cellular-thematic derivation.

What the composer embarks upon is rather "juggling", as he takes out of his top hat yet another interpretative solution. It is this "illusionism" that could go even further, in the sense that it could involve a whole cavalcade of various ensembles that would take over, one by one, different segments of the work in performing it, and in the end, they could become a playful "hubbub" which would enter at the same time, to the entertainment of all the participants.


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