Works by Aperghis, Frances-Hoad, Leith, Mitchener, Muhly, Josephine Stephenson and Héloïse Werner
Héloïse Werner (soprano), Daniel Shao (flute), Amy Harman (bassoon), Lawrence Power (violin, viola), Colin Alexander (cello), Calum Huggan (percussion), Laura Snowden (guitar)
Delphian DCD34269 63:44 min
Héloïse Werner brings together here a series of contemporary and linguistically experimental works in solo and duet, by herself and others, accompanied in turn by her excellent regular instrumental partners. Werner’s voice oscillates between direct naturalness and lyrical expression, infinitely flexible, theatrical or intimate, whether in the pretty “Comme l’espoir/you might all gone” by Josephine Stephenson, accompanied by the expressive guitar of Laura Snowden, or the more academic rigors of Georges Aperghis. solo Recitations, four of which Werner performs here, with an ear for puns and humor. Similar is also that of Zoë Martlew and Werner Syncopate, a poetic monologue of rapid-fire percussive performance that builds into a ‘NO NO NO!’ decisive. There is something almost liturgical in Werner like wordsthough it’s a liturgy of human reasoning, and the notes glide quickly against Amy Harman’s evocative and nuanced bassoon playing.
Most of these pieces rely on a clear interplay between soprano and instrumentalist, brilliantly done but sometimes with the feeling of a twisted vocal exercise or 1960s art happening, and all of which encompass voice casting. human, to which Werner is an expert. Werner’s own
Confessional seems to probe the performer’s polymorphism, but Werner pulls it off with dramatic expression, as she does with Oliver Leith’s offbeat blandness. yhyhyhyhh.
Sarah Urwin Jones