Been listening a lot to this album composed by Elena Kats-Chernin to try and grasp its feel. Which I tend to do a lot for new albums, but this one is rather different to others I have bought so probably I am lacking in vocabulary for describing it. Would say is much janglier, rougher, jazzier and more experimental than I am used to in music. All the pieces on this album were written or arranged for chamber orchestra and performed by the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. Cadences, Deviations & Scarlatti: according to the liner notes, the first piece grew out of hearing Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K. 141 and mentioning to a friend how she would have done it differently. I shall have to find a recording of the original, but I have trouble imagining the original sounded much like this transformation. I don't know how to describe it. Noisy? Jerky? Somehow seems to pull together despite seeming to me at first listen thoroughly discordant and noisy. Mad and almost out of control? There is a much more technical description in the liner notes, but I couldn't honestly say I understand it. Maybe should do some research when I feel freer. Purple Prelude: When I heard this I decided it justified the album title even if none of the rest does. Seductively winding forever, pulling tension with it and not quite releasing. Fell in love with the piece at once, even though I would normally say I dislike violin so strong. Concertino: this piece features Georges Lentz as the violin soloist, was written for the German group Ensemble Modern and inspired by Messiaen's Eclairs sur l'Au-delĂ . Unlike the little bit of Messiaen I have, this does not pain my ears. But it is very sharp and very tense. Tend to find myself tuning it out, so listening in order to write this is a bit like listening for the first time. Like the first track the style is so abrupt, tense and jangly-cluttered I am puzzled that someone could realise putting it all together would work. Variations in a Serious Black Dress: this piece features Stephanie McCallum on the piano. Rippling and stumbling, and on the other hand am unused to hearing keys hit so hard sounding good. I suppose the context matters. This is one of my favourite pieces on the album but I don't feel very equipped to describe it. Does have in common with the rest of the album a lot of energy and a lot of pushing what I would normally say are bad ideas in music (or unappealing to me anyhow, which is nearly the same thing). Clocks: Part I, Part II 'Blues', Part III 'Crash', Part IV written for 20 musicians (Ensemble Modern again) and tape, except the tape part was finished before any of the instrumental part was written. The first part is sparse with very strong pull of rhythm. The only piece here that sounds more of clocks than Purple Prelude and more of mad steampunk than Cadences, Deviations & Scarlatti. Some amazing sounds in there. The second part, I keep thinking fungus or rain slowing and petering out, clearing slowly after a storm. The third, drums and frantic again. Music to be lost in, when not jarring. The fourth, mournful piano in decay. Feels like darkness, much as the whole piece. Russia Rag Nice, easy, slightly mournful piece to finish. Not quite winter. This was the first piece by Elena Kats-Chernin I encountered, in a chamber music compilation, and I liked it well enough to consider more opportunities to hear her music worth accepting. It's a bit wonderful. And, see, this is why I don't do reviews. But it is fun to talk about stuff I like. Edit: here is a piece by the same composer, nearly entirely unlike those featured on the album: