Fred Van Hove Journey

Few things are more daunting to today’s listeners than vast stretches of solo instrumental music and on the face of it, two piano pieces collectively clocking in at 52 minutes invites a commitment few are prepared to give. Even the masters can leave the faithful wondering "what’s on TV?” after a time. This performance recording is no such animal. Van Hove’s status as one of the greats of the piano is not to be argued with but this particular performance is a testament to the ability of a musician to dream and play all in the same moment, and have the results be as incisive and taut as anyone spending months working on a score. Starting with clusters reminiscent of a slowly intensifying Debussy/Crumb/Taylor train wreck, Journey proceeds into prepared piano and a more measured romanticism that sobers up into a dark, rolling cloud towards the finale. Makes you wish you were there. (Psi)