Bryars dances to Tchaikovsky's tune

Gavin Bryars takes Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty into a different soundworld with his intriguing score.

Composer: Bryars
Repertoire: Amjad
Artists: Jennifer Thiessenm (vla), Jill Van Gee (vla), Elisabeth Giroux (vlc), Njo Kong Kie (pf)
Rating:  3.5/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Gavin Bryars Records BCGBCD10

Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are ballet’s most iconic scores. Endlessly reworked even in their original versions, ballet director Edouard Lock took the bold decision to create a new piece from Tchaikovsky’s music and asked British composer Gavin Bryars to provide the score. Bryars places Tchaikovsky in an entirely new soundworld. Writing for two violas, cello and piano strips away the familiar gloss, and Tchaikovsky’s harmonies are nudged towards nightmare dissonances and tart discontinuities. What we already know begins to exhibit a darker unknown – which is an intriguing way to create art.