This solo-piano recital illuminates the intersections where composition and improvisation, man and nature, and action and reflection meet. All of the music appreciates the moment yet exists in a state of becoming.
While Florian Hoefner utilizes these modest pieces as vehicles to explore the nexus between the preconceived and the purely extemporized, he doesn’t deliver them with cagey intent. Instead, he simply lets everything flow, painting attractive pictures that consist of “composed islands” surrounded by uncharted waters. Where the shores of certainty and the seas of discovery exactly meet is often a mystery, but it’s one that needs no solving.
Tales of birds, bergs and beauty emerge as Hoefner reflects deeply on the natural wonders endemic to Newfoundland, his adopted home. “The Great Auk” is a wide-eyed and wistful portrait of an extinct seabird; “Migration” takes a semi-impressionistic look at the itinerant life of the puffin; two freely improvised “Iceberg” vignettes travel from north to south over the keys; and “Green Gardens” presents a 12/8 dance inspired by a trail in Gros Morne National Park.
Elsewhere, lessons in musical style and structure lead to substance. The chorale-based “Never Lost” is born of an exercise that piano great Fred Hersch once shared with Hoefner; “The Send” serves as a pianistic representation of a jazz quartet at play; and “The Way of Water” takes hypnotic design cues from composer Nico Muhly’s “Music Under Pressure 1.” Form is pure putty in Hoefner’s hands during the telling of these tales.Originally Published