Label: Edition Wandelweiser
Out of stock
Recorded in March 2016, Voice with Piano is true to its title. It features Eva Marie Houben as performer and composer, performing three of her compositions, playing piano alongside soprano Irene Kurka. The disc opens with the three-part "Adagio" with text by the Belgian Felix Timmermans (1886-1947), sung in the original Flemish. So, non-Flemish speakers will not get the literal meaning of the words but, thanks to Kurka's expressive singing, their drama and emotion is all too clear. The piano and vocals perform separately, allowing their individual melodies to be clearly heard. By contrast, on "Lyrik," with text in German by Hilde Domin, Houben opted for the piano to accompany the voice, the two combining well, with the piano effectively framing and supporting the voice.
The album is dominated by the five-part "Songs for the Island" ("Lieder für die Insel"), with Houben's own text, which runs for over twenty minutes, the lion's share of the album. The piece is unmistakably from the Wandelweiser stable, its single notes surrounded by silences being one tell-tale sign. Although the parts are distinctly different, a recurring motif of a single note struck repeatedly ties the five together into a unified, satisfying whole, a mark of Houben's skills as a composer. (AllAboutJazz)