Friday, October 18, 2013

CCC 090 Martin Watt

South African composer Martin Watt is this week's entry in the Consonant Classical Challenge. Watt has written a fair amount of music both for the solo voice and choral groups. His melodies are structured to fit the human voice in a natural fashion. And that style carries over into his instrumental writing, too. Although Watt's music is tonally based, unusual relationship between chords give his work a certain freshness of sound.

O Sacrum convivium demonstrates Watt's mastery of sacred choral traditions. Listen carefully, though. Even thought the texture and blend may sound familiar, the harmonic motion isn't.

Watt's Second String Quartet offer a good example of his instrumental compositions. Watt is quite comfortable with contrapuntal writing, and knows how to keep a piece moving.

The Coca Cola Fughetta is a fun little piece that also shows Watt's love of counterpoint. A fairly mundane jingle becomes something quite different in Watt's treatment.

The Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano strips Watt's style down to its essentials. Listen especially to the lyrical second movement, and the expressiveness of the melody.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any recordings of Martin Watt's music to link to. And that's too bad. Based on the quality of the few examples I found, I would really like to hear his piano concerto, or his Rhapsody for orchestra. And it's possible that concert-going audience might like to, also.

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