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Andrea Cheeseman: Somewhere

By Benjamin Broening

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Composed by Benjamin Broening, Joseph Harchanko, Kirsten Volness, Mark Snyder, Matthew McCabe, Judith Shatin (1949-), and Mark Phillips. Classical. CD. Naxos #RR8018. Published by Naxos (NX.RR8018).

Item Number: NX.RR8018

Clarinetist Andrea Cheeseman infuses every note of her performances with a sense of passion and purpose. It is with this intentionality that she approaches Ravello Records' SOMEWHERE, an album of electroacoustic works that expand the clarinet repertoire to new heights while also showcasing Cheeseman in the genre where she feels most at home. The title, SOMEWHERE, is deeply telling--listeners and performers are taken somewhere new, somewhere completely different, with every piece. This does not, however, suggest a lack of cohesion throughout the album. In fact, each piece fits together as neatly as the connection between the clarinet and the computer. The atmospheric nature of the first three pieces--the fluid Arioso/Doubles, the e.e. cummings-inspired somewhere, and a memory of abstract paintings in Messy--creates space for the performer to fully express herself. SOMEWHERE moves into a more rigid, angular soundscape with Ultraviolet and Penelope's Song, the latter using recordings of a weaving loom that back up the lonely but resolute responses to challenges by Odysseus' faithful wife in Homer's epic. The album then moves back to its earlier meditative space with the ebbs and flows of Breath before concluding with the shimmering textures and harmonics of Favorable Odds. SOMEWHERE creates a one-of-a-kind dialogue between this symbiotic musical pairing. Cheeseman's thoughtful, nuanced, and altogether captivating performances welcome listeners into an experience they won't want to miss.

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