CD Review | Night Light (Leaf music, 2022)

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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    4.9

Night Light
Philip Chiu, piano; Lara Deutsch, flute
Leaf Music, 2022

As the central inspiration behind Chiu and Deutsch’s album Night Light, the concept of the “dream” takes on many forms, though some of these forms work better than others. The flutist and pianist take turns as the lead musicians in Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Digital Bird Suite, Op. 15 and Jocelyn Morlock’s I conversed with you in a dream to evoke the contradictory emotions associated with flying in a dream—the euphoria at having achieved an impossible task, and the disappointment at the task’s falsity that settles in after waking up. The duo tactfully employs the less-is-more approach by often letting their instruments fall silent, which allows the listener to contemplate the emptiness of dreams.

The album then adopts a much more sinister, albeit mellow tone at the onset of Frédéric Lacroix’s Night, which draws upon the idea of a dream-like campsite. Even though the flute has powerful, tense moments throughout Night, as though a daring story were being told around a crackling campfire, Deutsch never quite reaches the explosive crescendo she seems to be chasing.

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Chiu and Deutsch instead deliver that explosive performance in Schubert’s Introductions and Variations on “Trockne Blumen,” whose conversation about death in dreams and fictitious storytelling round out the album’s themes. The duo’s first-ever joint studio recording involved Variations, so their beautiful performance of the works also rounds out the demonstration of their skills. Likewise, the Schubert works provide a satisfying and surprisingly upbeat conclusion to the album that makes up for Night’s lack of intensity.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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