Anna Höstman, composer. Cheryl Duvall, piano.
Successfully matching a composer with a performer/commissioner requires that their magnetic fields must somehow align. So it is a pleasure to hear the successful musical partnership of pianist Cheryl Duvall, who commissions new works from Canadian composers, and composer Anna Höstman.
Höstman teaches at the University of Victoria, where she completed her first two degrees. She served three years as Composer-In-Residence with the Victoria Symphony. In this work for solo piano, composed 2010-2019, one hears the wistful curiosity of Satie, textures of Bill Evans, the spacious landscapes of John Cage.
The mood is calm and introspective: Water sprinkles down a rockfall, single notes blossom like flowers, shifting color. Yet one senses disturbance, too. One harmonic resolution opens the door to yet another question. The darkness of Bartok. Perhaps a lament for an age of COVID. Altogether, this music, like good wine, leaves the listener wanting more.