Written between 1973 and 1986, the four compositions by Clarence Barlow reach back as far as the Eighteenth Century to Muzio Clementi's "La Chasse in C" to incorporate, extend, and slightly alter sonorities from the past through a modern aesthetic. All first recordings, "1981 for Piano Trio" combines Clementi's composition with the first movement of Robert Schumann's more modern "Trio No. 2 in F" and the first movement of Ravel's "Trio in A Minor" and reworks each of them for violin, cello, and piano through a highly complex mathematical structure. The syncopated "Variazioni e Un Pianoforte Meccanico" for piano and piano player, loosely based on Beethoven's "Opus 111 Arietta," is an upbeat romp through eight variations of the piece. "Fantasia Quasi Una Sonata Con 'Mantra' di Stockhausen" was developed over time, combining Stockhausen's "Mantra" with explorations in tonality. The final piece, "'Spright the Diner' by Nib Wryter," performed again by violin, piano, and cello, uses minimalist repetition, loop-structure, and the façade of dualism to achieve an almost mesmerizing balance.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy