King’s Place, London: Theatre of Voices – Baltic Voices


By Simon Cumming:

'By far the most individual musical personality heard at the concert, though, was Helena Tulve. One of Estonia’s most renowned and original composers, Tulve’s new work The Narrow Road to the Deep North is an hour-long setting of the text of the same name by 17th century Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō. Composed for four voices, recorder and percussion (performed by Ying-Hsueh Cheh), we heard the first performance of a 40-minute excerpt from the piece....
.. Considering these qualities, The Narrow Road to the Deep North could have proved difficult to connect with. Yet the opposite was true; Bashō’s narrative has found a perfect counterpart in Tulve’s music: formal yet personal, indifferent yet intimate, placid yet passionate. It was a mesmerising performance, one that could have gone on forever. Considering the complete hour-long work consists of only the first half of Bashō’s text, there’s scope for Tulve to continue with this project: maybe one day we’ll be able to spend an entire evening connected to and deeply immersed in its evocative and uniquely-charged world.'

Read the entire review here: