This release is the result of an international competition for consonant chamber music. The works are all set in a tonal framework, but there’s nothing trite or conventional about them. These are all compositions of substance.

Andreas Foivos Apostolou’s “Metamorphoses for Piano Solo” starts off the program. This Grecian composer’s work uses polyrhythms and chord clusters to create a sense of dynamic energy that is as enjoyable as it is exciting. Russian composer Pavel Karamanov has a gift for melody. His work for viola and piano “Second Snow on the Stadium” has an elegiac quality to it.

The String Quartet No. 1 of Latino-American Jose Gonzalez Granero uses advanced techniques to create an intricate cloud of sound. Yet its modal harmonies help provide a point of reference for the ear.

Elana Kats-Chernin hails from Uzbekistan. Her “Dance of the Paper Umbrellas” for piano quartet reminded me of Philip Glass. A more lyrical version of Glass, that is.

“Con Moto for String Quartet” is by Ivan Palomares de la Encina. Palomares incorporates his Spanish heritage into the music. The quartet reminded me of Granados in that regard. And yet there’s a quality to it that’s unique. Palomares’ use of harmony makes this music of the early 21st rather than the 20th Century.

The program concludes with “Quintet” by Polish composer Jan Wachowski. This was the most traditional-sounding work on the release. Wachowski blends Post-Romantic harmonies with contemporary string techniques.  The result is a work that should appeal to both traditional classical music listeners and contemporary music lovers.

Six contemporary composers from different countries, each with their own perspective on what consonance means. Kudos to the Non Profit Music Foundation for sponsoring the competition. And kudos to pianist Daniel del Pino and the Habemus Quartet. Their committed performances brought this music to life.

In Crescendo: Consonant Chamber Music
Daniel del Pino, piano; Habemus Quartet
Non Profit Music