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Thomas Simaku’s album reviewed by BBC Music Magazine and Musicweb-International

Described by the French National Radio as ‘astonishing music’, Thomas Simaku’s new album con-ri-sonanza, performed by internationally acclaimed musicians Quatuor Diotima and Joseph Houston, continues to receive excellent reviews in the British music press.

Released by the Swedish label BIS Records, the CD was selected by BBC Music Magazine in their February 2021 issue, in which the critic writes: ‘I wasn’t at all familiar with Simaku, but I’ve come to appreciate greatly his ability to create unflinching visceral soundscapes. The pieces featuring string quartet are especially compelling here.’

A comprehensive review, commenting in detail on all the works included here, has been published by Musicweb-International:

“The piece that gives this release its collective title, con-ri-sonanza for piano quintet, was composed as a memorial to Bill Colleran, who was a dear friend of the composer. The piece opens somewhat mysteriously over long-held, though differently ‘coloured’ notes and tolling piano. This leads into the main body of the piece in which many, if not all, of Simaku’s hallmarks are present. Sometimes there is some slight playing inside the piano but this is always tastefully done, especially at about eleven minutes into the piece when playing on the piano strings suggests some folk instrument from the Balkans, a cimbalom maybe. For all its relative brevity, con-ri-sonanza is a deeply moving piece of music that – as far as I am concerned – might well be this release’s gem.

"The performances recorded in the composer’s presence are just splendid, technically assured and strongly committed. They do Simaku’s often complex but nonetheless rewarding music full justice. As already noted in earlier reviews, Simaku’s music is a hard nut to crack but, for my money, well worth cracking. Now I long to hear some of his ensemble music and his orchestral music (the Concerto for Orchestra won the first prize at the International Competition for Lutosławski’s 100th birthday).”

Read the review in full here.