Georges Soyka believes in new music, and performs it beautifully. “Indigo” is a relaxing selection of highly evocative and appealing pieces of XX and XXI century music, which break the barriers of style and genre. Kyoko Kashii’s masterful piano accompaniment is equally communicative.
The underlying synaesthesia in the CD title is also well chosen. Describing the sense associated with music (hearing) in terms of the sense associated with a colour (sight), triggers a compelling and imaginative exercise, which enhances the sensitivity of the listener.
The one-movement Sonata for trumpet and piano (1990) from Swiss American composer and saxophonist Daniel Schnyder, is a classical piece that contains jazz elements. Rapid rhythmic momentum alternates with solemn, slow motion passages, demanding classical precision and coolness for the bluesy passages, too. Four different kinds of mutes are used, making this piece both technically and stylistically challenging, and showcasing the 35-year-old Luxembourgish trumpet virtuoso’s incredibly brilliant playing.
Heinrich Sutermeister’s Gavotte de Concert (1993) and Maurice Le Boucher’s Scherzo Appassionato (1934) are both beloved and demanding contest pieces. The former is gently ironic, with the music seeming to point to unspoken questions. The latter has a charming “impressionist” introduction culminating in a lighter-hearted scherzo, a middle section accompanied by waving statements of descending arpeggios, building up evocative blurring contours, and a final reprise of the scherzo.
Jay (2021) was written by Yann Windeshausen as a birthday gift for his Professor. Alongside his performing activity, Georges Soyka teaches classical trumpet and chamber music at Luxembourg City Conservatory. This piece describes a day in the life of a jay, beautifully reflecting the bird’s movements as he reacts to a possible danger and heads back to his nest; as he ventures out again in a suspicious mode, then elegantly takes to the skies; and as he finally returns to his nest and goes to sleep.
Élégie (1872), the only piece of this CD not belonging to the XX or XXI century, is one of Jules Massenet’s most famous songs. Originally written for piano in 1866, the composer adapted it twice. Firstly for a cello solo in his incidental music to the play Les Érinnyes, and latterly in a version for voice and piano. The flugelhorn and piano version included in Indigo particularly captures the dramatic expression of loss through a contemplative melody line over an equally evocative piano accompaniment.
In Impromptu (1951), a short but intense piece containing a bass line with a syncopated melody on top, French composer Jacques Ibert’s eclecticism is at its best. Ibert did not recognise himself in any particular musical genre or school, maintaining that all systems were valid.
Francis Poulenc put into music three poems of French novelist, poet and journalist Louise de Vilmorin. One of them is C’est ainsi que tu es (The way you are, 1943): “Your flesh, mingled with soul / Your tangled hair / Your feet pursuing time / Your shadow which stretches / And whispers close to my temple./ There, that is your portrait / That is how you are / And I shall write it down for you / So that when night comes / You may believe and say / That I knew you well”. The melodic line of this exquisitely romantic piece is staggeringly well interpreted by Soyka with his flugelhorn.
Jean Hubeau’s Sonata for trumpet and piano (1943) is dedicated to Roger Delmotte, a prominent trumpet player. Hubeau adopted an innovative composition method in this sentimental sonata, which consists of three movements with completely different styles. While the typical classical sonata has fast-slow-fast movements, this one has slow-fast-slow movements.
Indigo’s closing piece is Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion (1982), a sweet, poignant tango of great harmonic refinement and elegance, characterized by a lyrical, enthralling and introspective melody masterfully interpreted by Soyka’s flugelhorn. Oblivion encompasses immediacy and complexity, change and tradition, harmony and contrast, softness and intensity. As such, it is capable of representing the soul and essence of tango.