'This disc commences with “Prolog / Autumn / Winter Part 1” which are relatively unadorned solo contrabass improvisations from 2003, inspired by the poem Lettera Amorosa by René Char. Although the work apparently “…follows an emotional path a man lives through a loss…” which is intriguing, the main emotions this music is conveying to me are morbid self-analysis, ennui and fatigue. So far so good. Nonetheless, Janek insists upon the piece “…awakening from impotence, sensing awareness and rediscovering possibility…” If that is the way Janek sees it then who am I to disagree? But again, as it is with Caspar, this way of forcing a narrative onto improvisation – what could be defined as a musical train of thought – I think is an unnecessary decoration at best.
You could argue that it is just the sort of critical justification a funding board expects to see, and perhaps you would be correct to think that. Janek states: “…it doesn’t show it [the narrative], but the possibility of it…” Putting all that aside, nothing changes the fact that the material presented on side A is a little…well, dull. At least for my taste. The side ends with Janek sawing at his instrument on a single note which perhaps represents ‘frustration’ on this time-line of loss, but at this point I am more than ready for the flip.
There is a great deal of busy activity on the second side, but mostly in the higher registers . Again, a kind of aimless lashing out, almost.…so maybe it works in the context of the theme? Grief following a loss is a terrible thing to for us humans to endure, and Three Seasons reflects this quite well.