Moss is an expert at the integration of tape and instruments, and this composition reflects a composer who is entirely comfortable with the medium. At times piano and tape converse, at times one accompanies the other, but always the sounds are complementary. This technical excellence, however, projected ideas that were merely humdrum and rather disappointing.
Timbrell's reading of one of the popular C Minor sonatas by Haydn was stiff and heavy-handed, reflecting, perhaps, difficulty in adjusting to the hall. But he began to loosen up with the six Schumann Opus 4 "Intermezzi." Here he paced the music well but was not as successful in differentiating foreground from background.
The concluding Ravel "Miroirs," however, were lovely, beautifully conceived and technically assured.
All good things must come to an end, and pianist Charles Timbrell brought the National Gallery's season of concerts to a close very nicely last year.
It was a peculiarly fitting program for the occasion, including both music by Haydn, who is a favorite of Gallery music director Richard Bales, and the premiere of a new piece of American music, so much of which has been premiered here over the years.
This was a work for tape and piano called "Hands Across the C" by Lawrence Moss, who is on the University of Maryland faculty.