Matt Haimovitz

Anthem

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In the liner notes for this album, the immensely talented cellist Matt Haimovitz describes it as "my celebration of American music through the lens of the solo cello." True, but one is tempted to add that Haimovitz's electrifying performance is an apotheosis of the cello itself. For example, in the unsettling, but strangely engaging cacophony of his version of Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner," Haimovitz delves deep into the the sonic world of his instrument, unearthing, so to speak, sounds, sonic shards, and enigmatic voices that almost seem alien to the cello. While the listener may feel alienated by certain sonic spaces that Haimovitz discovers and shares with his audience, this disc remains a rich, fascinating, and truly multidimensional view of the cello's sonic potential. Despite his interest in unusual sonic effects, which seemingly transcend the cello's natural domain, Haimovitz is, above all, the quintessential cellist. Presented as a showcase of American music, this album nevertheless includes music by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. Omaramor, an intriguing, passionate, and finely textured piece is played by Haimovitz with extraordinary energy and finesse. Another highlight of this album, which also includes music by Lou Harrison, Luna Pearl Woolf, Robert Stern, Augusta Read Thomas, and Toby Twining, is Haimovitz's rendition of Tod Machover's With Dadji in Paradise. In this extraordinary sound-dream, replete with sonic manifestations that include whirlpools of sound and barely perceptible acoustic suggestions, Haimovitz navigates the music's strange labyrinths with supreme assurance and artistic authority.

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