This Jurg Frey composition, Paysage pour Gustave Roud, realized here by Frey (clarinet), Stefan Thut (cello), and pianist Dante Boon, is a distillation of the Wandelwesier elements I most love. It is, along with Antoine Beuger’s Lieux de passage, the latter found on Wandelweiser Und So Weiter, the new six-disc release on Another Timbre, the most beautiful compositions I heard in 2012.
As frequently as I read about Wandelweiser composer’s penchant for silences, these two pieces reveal how those silences are integrated with breath-length melody in such a way as to make their distinction artificial and useless. There is always only presence in this astonishing music.
Frey and Beuger consistently create a music that is uniquely generous, both in the presences it offers, and how it is offered – not pushed at you, but rather, granted, as soil grants its yield.
On this threshold, Frey wrote in 2004, an airy, mobile threshold that is entirely elusive as a place, but occasionally allows music to be experienced as a place – there is still enough scope, uncharted territory and vitality to inspire the compositional process and pose a challenge.