Matt Haimovitz, cello
Geoffrey Burleson, piano
Works of Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, David Sanford and Augusta Read Thomas
"The virtuoso team of cellist Matt Haimovitz, who teaches at McGill University, and his pianist friend Geoffrey Burleson, who's at Princeton, just released an aptly named CD called Odd Couple on the Oxingale label. It features an intriguing array of American works for piano and cello, from Samuel Barber's 1932 sonata to Augusta Read Thomas's exquisite Cantos for Slava, composed this year in honour of Mistislav Rostropovich. Listening to it conjured up the thought of how great it would be to hear some of this live. Well, Thursday night, at Pollack Hall at McGill's Schulich School of Music, Haimovitz and Burleson paired up with DJ Olive on turntables and sundry electronics for a fabulous recital. You clearly sense the joy that Haimovitz and Burleson have playing together. The complicity between the two performers couldn't have been more perfect. Burleson then played a "prepared piano" improv, plucking and strumming the strings with horsehair, to take us into Elliot Carter's 1948 Sonata for Cello and Piano. The piano and cello are fiercely independent in this piece, yet sustain a dialogue whose resolution makes perfect sense. Along the way the ride is stimulating and uplifting. At its end, it all seemed too short. The audience roared and the three gentle music giants returned for a rocking, rhythmic trio performance."
-Alan Conter, The Toronto Globe and Mail
Two powerhouse performers, cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Geoffrey Burleson, come together on Odd Couple, released September 16 from Oxingale Records.
Odd Couple Celebrates Elliott Carter's 100th birthday with a new recording of one of his most popular and loved works, the Sonata for Cello and Piano. David Sanford's jazz and funk-inspired 22 Part I takes up where the distinctively American sound of early Carter leaves off, and Samuel Barber's Cello Sonata Op 6 contrasts a European romanticism to Augusta Read Thomas\' more modern Cantos for Slava, dedicated to the memory of Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007) Thomas's work was commissioned for Haimovitz by ASCAP as part of Haimovitz's 2006 Concert Music Award for outstanding contribution to the performance of American Music.
From the liner notes:
If the piano and cello were to fill out a dating survey, answering all of those intimate questions honestly (innate timbres, favorite textures, pitch and dynamic range, general musical preferences) it is highly unlikely that they would have hooked up on a first date, let alone hoped for a long-term (two-hundred year!) relationship...
Oxingale Records OX2015, released in 2008