Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Andrew Palmer
Group Editor
3:00 AM 4th December 2022

Classical Music: Matthew Kaner Chamber Music

Matthew Kaner Chamber Music

Piano Trio; Suite for Cello; At night for clarinet quintet; Flight Studies for basset clarinet; Five Highland Scenes for violin and piano.

Mark Simpson - basset clarinet; Guy Johnston - cello; Bnjamin Baker - violin & Daniel Lebhardt - piano; Matthias Balzat cello.

Goldfield Ensemble: Kate Romano clarinet/ artistic director. Ncola Goldscheider - violin; Alexnadra Caldon - violin; Bridget Carey - viola; Toby Turton - cello.

Delphian: DCD34231

Mathew Kaner is a talented composer as this debut disc of his chamber music demonstrates. In producing this album, Delphian is introducing a composer who adeptly and evocatively reveals so many characteristics of the instruments for which he writes.

Whether it be for solo cello, piano trio, or a clarinet quintet, Kaner’s music depicts so many inventive musical metaphors, firmly establishing him as a fine composer of chamber music. These are works that would make interesting additions to repertoire at the copious chamber concerts that take place the length and breadth of the UK every week.

As an introduction to his music, the 36-year-old Kaner is joined by gifted musicians who skilfully bring each composition to life. The textural elements of each score show an in-depth understanding for the different instruments.

His music has moments of beauty, hauntingly so, especially At Night, which is made up of a pair of movements inspired on the theme of night. The Goldfield Ensemble superbly help convey the storytelling. The sweeping phrases in Flight Studies for basset clarinet with its deep resonant sounds certainly depicts the flight patterns of a kestrel and swift. The instrument’s tonal colours that Mark Simpson so adroitly displays are captivating.

The Suite for Cello produces the same sentiment as in Flight Studies, Kaner’s ability to appreciate the cello’s rich colours enables Guy Johnston to create the intensity that drove Kaner to write the 2020 work during lockdown, and so we feel the unease, uncertainly and the melancholy that this period had on our lives. Yet, as Kaner writes in the notes, ’there are also moments of hope and anticipation'.

The first movement of the Piano Trio 'Glints in the water', expressively enables the listener to think around the titles and be taken to a deeper level as the cello, piano and violin create the expansive lines that Kaner produced. 'Ripples' is more mediative, and the last movement inspired by a ‘beautiful pieces of textile art by my mother, Sabine Kaner, entitled Eroded Lines’ captures the individual textural colours of each instrument and the brilliance of the compositional writing is that they blend and complement each other.

As a debut disc of contemporary music this is an album that has a lot to offer, it is infused with a composer’s personality whose acuity and creative vision is vividly and descriptively exhibited. His melodic lines and rhythmic pulse cement his credentials as an innovative and original composer.