sticky post August 25, 2020 / Reviews/Critiques

An Ode to the Morphing Muse – Op. 6

Suite in 4 movements

I. A Lasting First Impression – Soprano, Guitar, Piano, Violoncello
II.  Dreams & Resonances – Soprano, Guitar, Violoncello
III. The Deepest Recesses of the Soul – Soprano, Piano, Violoncello
IV. Exultation, Liberation – Soprano, Alto, Piano, Violoncello


Salome – Voice – Soprano
Tatiana Kritskaya – Violoncello
Jay Parte – Piano
Vivek Venugopal – Guitar
Anusha Ramasubramoney – Voice – Alto

Composer Vivek Venugopal’s strikingly modern, neo classical sort of chamber music could possibly be called progressive music, but we tend to agree with what the young composer calls it, ‘contemporary classical’.

 An Ode to the Morphing Muse – Op. 6 – Suite in four movements is an absolutely original and unique musical composition. The strikingly vivid composition is direct, forthright, strictly composed and highly engaging and it would possibly appeal to listeners of different aesthetic orientations, even those who don’t habitually listen to classical music, or music that demands complete attention.

 The suite is an unusual combination of wordless voices, cello, piano and guitar; with the soaring soprano voice used as an instrument that sometimes sits on top of the other instrumentation and sometimes blends in and harmonises with the cello and piano, both of which seamlessly take the lead, or harmonise as the composer has imagined and written it.

 These tasteful and communicative songs without words are innovative in harmony and texture and the composition’s full, rich and bold colours compel, engross and involve.

 Though connected, each movement could be called a tone poem and could stand on its own as the names of each movement indicate, yet when listened to as a single composition in four movements, one does get a sense of completeness.

 The voices and instrumentalists together, perform the composition thoughtfully and skilfully,  the Indo-Israeli soprano singer, Salome with her pure voice with minimum vibrato, the Russian cellist, Tatiana Kritskaya’s wonderful tone and precision, Alto singer, Anusha Ramasubramoney’s clear and cool intonation and pianist Jay Parte’s fine touch and acute understanding of the composition, and, composer guitarist, Vivek Venugopal’s finger picking acoustic guitar in the first two movements provides a landscape-like backdrop to the music.

All in all, ‘An Ode to the Morphing Muse’ is a nicely performed album of charmingly shaped melodies that are a pleasure to listen to – again and again.

Written by Pratap Antony

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