Judith Wegmann – X (Rétro-) Perspectives I to X (ISRC CH 130.1700771 – 1700780); Judith Wegmann: pf
When the slender fingers of Judith Wegmann caress the keyboard of her concert grand piano, and reach inside it to pluck and otherwise manipulate in every which way the taut strings stretched across its plate from capo bar to hitch pin, she breathes life into an instrument that becomes an extension of her mind and body. Miss Wegmann’s music on Le souffle du temps, is thrillingly sensuous, with bright acoustic colours, resonant pings, trills and fades of “X (Rétro-) Perspectives”; a highly-creative work of piano literature that shimmers with the predictable and the unpredictable echoes on her instrument, celebrated with rich and varied sonorities in an air of mystery, with dramatic bursts of sound and silence.
Performing her richly-colourful creation herself also proves to be most appropriate for Miss Wegmann turns the cosmic abundance and energy of her confection into ten dazzling, pulsating movements of music rising ebulliently in harmony and rhythm as if from a vortex with a cumulative power that is, at times, overwhelming. All is not delivered with hammer and tong, however; some parts of movement “III”, for instance, combine gliding motifs on the keys with manipulated strings to form a gentle bed of sound over which the piano seems to wander in imitation of birdsong. In later movements (parts of “VIII” for example), gentleness and unbounded effervescence combine to suggest an ecstatic celebration of earthly life itself.
This recording of “X (Rétro-) Perspectives” comes with the imprimatur of Miss Wegmann is special, and you can hear why elsewhere too. The pianist takes a luxuriant view of the score, underlining her own apparent view that should a piano be made to “sing”, it will do so by singing as if it is vocalizing an elemental “love song”, lingering over its more ingratiatingly sensual side, rather than its intellectual one, for instance. She caresses some of the work’s movements at times also with tenderness, but is also unafraid to light proverbial fires under others that she intends to combust. Movement “X” and its finale are dispatched with unheralded physicality and radiant shadings of orchestral detail.
Released – 2018
Label – hatART (hat[now]ART 202)