Portrait chamber music CD released January 2014
Fidelio Trio – Darragh Morgan (violin), Robin Michael (cello), Mary Dullea (piano) – Carla Rees (bass flute) and Patricia Rozario (soprano)
www.compositiontoday.com (Christian Morris)
Many composers are inspired by their roots, some so much so it would be hard to imagine how their music would sound if they had been born elsewhere. South African Robert Fokkens is one such composer. His new disc of chamber music on Métier is everywhere infused with the spirit of his home country – its division and diversity, its language, its native music, even its wildlife. These aspects are manifested in a variety of ways: in elements of structure, melodic and tonal procedures and programmatic components. Fokkens is also, however, keenly aware of his antecedents in the Western classical tradition, and these play their part here too.
Fokkens’s well-defined compositional voice combines native South African with broader international musical concerns. Fokkens has been well served over the last decade by a growing number of performers and ensembles committed to his work, not least those represented on this disc, who offer here compelling, sympathetic accounts of his development in the field of chamber music.