Darkeness Visible I. Barnatan
(released on April 10, 2012)
Avie AV2256 | 69'27"
The action onstage was not at the keyboard with the performer hitting notes, but from wide sound emanating from the length of the instrument. Barnatan's effortless technique was at the forefront of Ronald Stevenson's picturesque, then tragic Peter Grimes Fantasy. In this brief work, Stevenson has the performer rise over the instrument while holding the resonance of a chord with the damper pedal and hauntingly pluck a few strings by hand as if the instrument were a giant harp. After last month's Cage Festival, it was nice to see extended techniques used in such a magically musical way. Barnatan's lengthy verbal comments from the bench assisted the audience in comprehending the story of Aloysius Bertrand's poems, which inspired Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit. This explanation gave the listener the tools to decide for himself when the seductive water sprite gives an outpouring of laughter, or to imagine how the face of the bizarre goblin might look, walk, or even take flight.
Charles T. Downey, Pianist Inon Barnatan’s intelligence, musicality impress at Kennedy Center (Washington Post, October 15)
James McQuillen, Inon Barnatan distinguishes himself with delicate, powerful playing (The Oregonian, October 10, 2011)
The next major piano event in the WPAS classical series will feature András Schiff performing the second book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (October 30, 8 pm), at Strathmore.