A Spanish composer living in Germany, student of Mauricio Kagel, allied in performance with people like Jaki Liebezeit. Peculiar brew, isn’t it? Maria De Alvear’s compositions are usually notated in atypical ways (no staves, only note heads) and without pre-fixed rhythms. She has written works for her own voice and orchestra, often directly dealing with sex-related topics, and spends a lot of time with natives from various parts of the globe, including Indian American and Siberian tribes, in order to search for the purest sources of musical inspiration. That’s enough already for causing some trouble; as a matter of fact, De Alvear’s work is still pretty much unknown and more or less pushed away from Europe’s academic circles. Given the immaterial aura that “Fuerzas” possesses, this is not surprising at all. This version, scored for viola, is interpreted with graceful touch and heartwarming passion by Christina Fong, whose instrument emits tones mixing dejection, awareness and level-headedness at once. This is no show-off stuff, nothing useful for the commonly intended “virtuoso”; yet it takes one to execute the score in such a positively radiant manner, every passage enlightened by an extraordinary quest for spiritual achievement, its brilliance equalling the refracted light of rain drops hit by tangential sun rays on a window after the storm. A piece that will harvest your attention extensively, charming and delicately pensive, excellent for mind-relaxing purposes and, in that sense, confirming the “healing qualities” for which this woman strives.


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