Beck, Jeremy - Pause and Feel and Hark (special)
"Jeremy Beck has created a special kind of musical world; one which combines hope with a gentle sadness and nostalgia. It is the kind that you glimpse upon waking on a Sunday morning and seeing a steady rain in the garden, knowing that you can go right back to bed. Satisfying, warm inside, and with little self-pity. His Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 3 may as well have been composed looking over the drenched rooftops of Paris rather than in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Following on the heels of his orchestral CD from innova, "Wave," this one contains Beck’s same emotional liquor but in chamber-sized bottles. The three works on "pause and feel and hark" range from abstract music, and music inspired by poetry (but without voice), to a vocal monodrama (singing and all). And it is hard to go wrong with the inspiration of poets such as Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Vikram Seth, and Joyce Carol Oates. The latter’s novel forms the basis of Black Water, a monodrama bringing to life a slightly veiled fictional account of the events of Chappaquidick in 1969. More unutterably lovely than it is mournful, Beck’s music bathes the ears, and gives pause to feel and to hark."
"[One of the] best new recordings from North America[.] … [N]ow that the ‘neo’ movement has legitimised tonality, Beck’s aesthetic is … in vogue. His music is dulcet but intelligent; easy-going but not anodyne. Sonata No. 3, Moon, impresses with a form symbolic of the tides, in that the A section of the first movement’s avowed ABA only truly returns to end the three-movement work. Emilio Colon, cello, and Heather Coltman, piano, imbue it with lambent timbre and elegant vivacity. … Black Water, a monodrama for soprano and piano based on Joyce Carol Oates’s tragic novel … showcase[s] Beck’s dramatic flair. … [This work] is dramatically taut in its account of a fatal auto accident. Reality and semi-consciousness entwine as the female protangonist drowns, abandoned by the philandering senator who had picked her up at a party.” – Andrew Druckenbrod/Gramophone Magazine