Johannes Berauer’s Hourglass
RNCM Concert Hall, 6 December 2018
Here the Austrian composer Johannes Berauer compered a concert that showcased the music from his latest album Hourglass.
On show also was music by The Impossible Gentlemen – Mike Walker on guitar and Gwilym Simcock on piano, two of the players here, hail from that combo – and some RNCM students joined the professional musicians on stage for these performances.
Altogether it was up-tempo and exhilarating (you could not help nodding your head along with the music), eclectic and intriguing (Berauer cited Messiaen and Indian Rhythms as two main influences and there was, as well, an embrace of melody that made me think of none other than Brahms). As a concert it nourished the heart and the head, being both rigorous – yes, it was certainly that – yet generous too. Each player, whether on guitar, piano, violin or drums, took flight with a solo or two as the night rolled on. And Berauer duly spoke at one point of the thrill of seeing his music recreated afresh each night: you get that with jazz brethren, less so where classical recitals are concerned. Lively improvisation, the life not eternal but fragile: like, well, life. The music daring, gorgeous darlings, ending up sometimes bruised and scarred.
It is rare to see classical music and jazz enmeshed as finely, welded together as completely, as in this beautiful, memorable concert.