MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN - Hardscrabble Songs
[In Situ,]

As a co-founder of Tone Roads Ensemble, violinist extraordinaire Malcolm Goldstein probably needs no introduction. Since the early 60's, his work has been pushing the boundaries of what a violin should sound like. He has received numerous grants and his compositions have been performed world-wide. Backed-up by Quatuor Bozzini [two violins, cello and an alto?], Malcolm's violin on this record is at its primal best. Showcasing his powers as a composer [and improviser, for that matter], he dives right in with spectacularly skewed and barren strokes. Intensity only grows as you listen to the pieces in the order they appear on the CD. Stop and go movements are tension inducing, as you wonder what sort of a rabbit he can pull out of his hat next. Memories of World War II, made Malcolm compose the title piece "Hardscrabble Songs". Disturbing, fragmented vocalization that is howled, hissed and whispered here talk of freedom, disturbing images of America as a melting pot and collective memory as a whole. At times, it's a very difficult and painful listen as you know you're peeking into a family photo album when nobody gave you permission to do so. Poignantly haunting and utterly beautiful, whether "Hardscrabble Songs" is Goldstein's' most ambitious work only remains to be seen. It is, without a doubt, one of his most daring and consistent statements to date.

- Tom Sekowski

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>> MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN - Hardscrabble Songs
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