, September 2011
…In Time’s Unfolding… is certainly very American, mellifluous…a pleasant way to pass six minutes (twice).
…Tartini…flirts moodily with atonality, overall the effect is agreeably euphonious…
Mestiere is a short, ponderous, atonal piece, and serves as a prelude to the more immediately attractive Di Vivere, which was commissioned by and premiered in 1982 by the Da Capo Players themselves—flautist Patricia Spencer and cellist André Emilianoff are, amazingly, still in this splendid ensemble’s line-up.
…Biscardi’s Piano Quintet is a loving, touching remembrance by the composer of his father…imaginative, sombre, introspective work is Biscardi’s American Classic.
Companion Piece is a tonal, gently hypnotic, almost meditative work for piano and contrabass—a tranquil duet…
…The Viola Had Suddenly Become a Voice is…lyrical, slightly melancholic and rather lovely short, written in memory of Jacob Glick, the violist father of American soprano Judith Bettina.
In every piece, Biscardi’s music is given a cordial, glowing performance by experienced and up-and-coming soloist alike, with violinist Curtis Macomber and pianist Blair McMillen meriting a special mention.
Sound quality is excellent. The CD booklet is too, with—for Naxos—unusually detailed notes on the music, supplied by Biscardi, and biographies of all soloists regardless of the size of their contribution to the programme.
The CD is much shorter than it really ought to be, especially taking into account the wholesale repetition of In Time’s Unfolding at the end of the programme. A couple of longer works by Biscardi would have given listeners a fuller picture of his talent, but on the basis of these chamber works, there is plenty to admire, and every reason to hope for more to come.