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Expansions

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Customer Reviews

Kris Becker's Expansions: Barrier-Smashing Nu-Classical Music

Anticipated second release from the barrier-smashing nu-classical composer-pianist. Flowing with the undercurrents of classical, rock, and jazz but all within a decidedly classical structure, the Kris Becker “nu-classical” brand of technical craft and mainstream appeal herein advances with emboldened conviction in works for solo piano, clarinet, and flute.

The new Piano Sonata No.1, winner of the 2012 National Federation of Music Clubs Beyer Composition Award, provides the album’s centerpiece. Elegy, a moving & improvisatory offering, is a sober introduction to a group of works indicating an artistic genesis of intense personal adversity and victory. Fusion of Bernsteinesque concepts with rock, funk, and beyond characterizes a boisterous Mixolydian Meltdown & the unapologetically groove-oriented Retribution. The beautiful Meltaway, the enigmatic Outside Entity, and the story-like Convalescence provide quieter sidesteps while The Blowtorch Rondo blasts its unruly fire with a crazy and wild array of bizarre ideas and an all out early 70s-style hard rock blowout.

While these piano offerings, all performed by Kris himself, span a huge range suited for the hardcore professional player all the way to the developing student pianist (those known as the "Deviations"), the two works for woodwinds are unmistakably demanding of a virtuoso. Covenant, performed by Sarunas Jankauskas on clarinet and Kris at piano, is a jazz/rock/classical fusion romp brimming with ebullience and balanced with a melancholic middle section. Expansions, the title track and played by Victoria Hauk on solo flute, provides a set of variations on an original theme, again bridging the worlds of jazz/rock/classical in an alluring concert work.

From sensitive and subdued to rhythmically fierce and muscular, Expansions asserts that Kris Becker is intent upon serious expression.

Expansions, Kris Becker
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