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David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2008

Alexandros Mouzas was born in 1962 and was musically educated in his native Greece, his compositions now placing him among the nation’s most celebrated musicians. He has written in many genres with a sizeable input to film and television background music, and much of his major symphonic output is included on this highly desirable disc. This is modernism with a listener-friendly appeal that flits between tonality and atonality seeking to create musical colours. With his cinema background, the opening work, Music for an Imaginary Film, is very appropriate, the scenario is left to the listener, though a dramatic story is obviously intended. The three sections of Prima Materia contrasts darkness, whiteness and redness, the second section opening with a haunting cello melody, the whole work exploring orchestral sonorities. Monologue is in the shape of a one-movement Cor anglais concerto, its many contrasting sections showcasing the solo instrument’s pungent qualities. The two remaining tracks, Thought Forms from 2002and Lucid Dreams, completed two years later, are scored for strings and in mood are the most consciously modern pieces. They do take a few hearings to get to grips with Mouzas’s style, moments of Shostakovich in one of his bleak moods being a guide as to their content. The Sofia Philharmonic under the Greek conductor, Miltos Logiadis, do find these latter two works a stiff challenge, but otherwise it is in fine form. Chirstina Pantelidou’s fruity tone makes for an convincing soloist in the technically demanding Monologues. The recorded sound is the best I have ever encountered from Bulgaria. Available in a limited edition, it really is well worth looking out, probably through Internet sales.

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