CD Review: Montage Music Society Starry Night Project

Both Harris’s Starry Night suite and Andrew List’s Gauguin-inspired Noa Noa, in fact, constitute some of the finest chamber music of recent vintage I know. Each of Harris’s seven, three-to-four minute movements is well crafted, exudes character, and stimulates the imagination. Noa Noa by Boston-based composer List was commissioned especially for Montage Music Society. Scored for piano, clarinet, and violin, it combines the lush textures redolent of a tropical landscape with the neoclassical scoring of a Ravel with the vibrant colors of Gauguin to create a work to which I will surely return often. In some intangible way, List has captured the essence of Gauguin’s grand tableau Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? to a greater extent than any other composer on this program, save perhaps a couple of Harris’s interpretations.