Notes & Reviews:
The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b. 1970) is wide-ranging - from settings of classical Arabic poetry to scores for dance and pieces for young audiences. His works explore connections between music and other arts, and draw inspiration from diverse sources such as 19th century graphic art, fables of the world, folksong and jazz. This second recording on Albany Records devoted to his music amply demonstrates these influences. Two of the works are inspired by literary sources (Imaginary Scenes and Four Fables); while Capriccios takes its inspiration from the Paganini 24 Capriccios and the Variations on a Theme of Bartok draws from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Movements from the Art of Conversation are introduced to the audience through short, spoken dialogues performed by the string quartet, which alternate with the seven movements of the piece.