Tansy Davies Troubairitz
This has been quite a difficult disc to address, and I have returned to it (listening on better equipment) with greatly increased pleasure.
Two totally different sides of Tansy Davies are on show. She first made her mark on us at a Royal Academy of Music showcase concert, which made me note to keep an eye/ear on how she developed.
The heart of this CD (or one of its two hearts) is the longest, an 18 mins sequence of settings of 12th C troubador songs, with quite amazing texts about the harsh realities of love and its disappointments. These need to be heard quite apart from all the rest and without distraction.
I walk alone which ends the cycle is simple and poignant; the preceding two are quite complex, with ornamented lines which sound spontaneous rather than carefully studied.
The instrumental pieces seem to come from a different world - very much today's, influenced by rock etc and with a group of "remixes" by Gabriel Prokofiev etc. They are all invigorating, with driving rhythms and striking instrumentation.
Yes, Tansy Davies is certaily a composer to continue to watch out for. In a dire Kings Place evening in April of music "that connects the dots between modern dance music and experimental art music" (which I found myself unable to review) an unpretentious new piece of hers was the only item to make an impression...
Peter Grahame Woolf
See Paul Griffiths' sympathetic review of the disc.