February 25, 2016

The Strad: Orbit – Matt Haimovitz Review

“What brings this bewildering diversity of music together is Haimovitz’s unstoppably committed, enthusiastic playing, superbly controlled in tone, attack, vibrato and more…”

We are proud to share with you that PENTATONE OXINGALE series release of Orbit – Music for Solo Cello”(1945 – 2014) with Matt Haimovitz received a charming review on The Strad! This impressive solo cello odyssey offers the listener a fascinating kaleidoscope of musical influences from the past sixty years, encountering a variety of composers who range in musical style.

For the most part the set comprises reissued material from the albums Haimovitz has released on his own Oxingale label, with a few new tracks thrown in. The ordering, however, has a convincing sense of light and shade, complexity and simplicity, even if the tracks’ contrasting acoustics – some recorded in a resonant church, others in a dry recording studio – make for sometimes unsettling listening.

Still, it’s an amazing achievement, from Philip Glass’s rapturous Orbit, which opens the set, through Elliott Carter’s two gnarly Figments to Toby Twining’s remarkable 9:11 Blues, a wail of anguish in spookily voice-like, bluesy cello harmonics. Salvatore Sciarrino’s whispered Ai limiti della notte is full of unsettling, half-heard magic, and Ned Rorem’s After Reading Shakespeare, one of three meatier multi-movement pieces on the set’s final disc, vividly portrays the Bard’s heroes and villains.