Hilda Paredes: “Cuerdas del destino” (CD Review)

hilda-paredes-arditti-aeon

Hilda Paredes
Cuerdas del destino
Jake Arditti, countertenor; Irvine Arditti, solo violin; Arditti String Quartet
Aeon Records CD AECD 1439

Hilda Paredes provides a family portrait on Cuerdas del destino, her latest CD. The works are written for violinist Irvine Arditti, her husband, countertenor Jake Arditti, her son, and the Arditti Quartet, with whom she has enjoyed more than twenty years of artistic partnership. This CD is also significant in that it celebrates the Arditti’s fortieth anniversary.

The title work is Paredes’s second quartet. It is filled with ricochets of pizzicato and playful grouped glissandos set against pensive harmonics. Canciones lunáticas, settings of Pedro Serrano, expands this sound world to include tremolando. Jake Arditti’s voice is pitch perfect, with a strong upper register. Imitating the interplay of the strings, he brings out consonants, particularly sibilants.

Irvine Arditti plays the solo work In Memoriam Thomas Kakuska, an homage to the violist of the Berg Quartet, with exquisite attention to the detailed score. Paredes has said that the piece’s exploration of short motivic utterances iss meant to reflect Kakuska’s sense of humor; his contrasted sense of gravitas is depicted in the work’s piquant harmonic language.

Two versions of Papalote, a setting of Rocío González, are provided here. The first, for voice and violin, was written when Jake Arditti was still a boy treble as a father-son duo. The second is for countertenor with the full quartet. Once again, the voice part adopts or resembles many of the techniques performed by the strings: glissandos, terse accents to go along with pizzicato punctuation, and high, floating lines of tremendous purity to balance with harmonics and sostenuto legato melodies. The overall effect is mesmerizing.

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