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Martin Ptak - River Tales

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 22 / 2 / 2019



Martin Ptak - River Tales
Label: Col Legno
Format: CD

intro

Passionate but subtle second album from Austrian composer and pianist Martin Ptak which takes its inspiration from his country’s rivers


Subtitled 'Der endlose Strom der Wiederkehr',Martin Ptak's second album evolves around the cycle of water that runs from the mountains to the sea and back over again. He grew up walking the flood plains along Alpine rivers. Austria is perhaps a country where one could become a composer or a musician by simply drinking local dairy. The undercurrents in Martin Ptak's music though shy away from storm showers and snow, and 'River Tales' goes from well to delta. The initially timid and sometimes tame orchestration sets one off on the wrong foot. It veers towards kitsch new age music during the first ten minutes, and the listener needs to settle down in this valley of sparkling sounds in acountry that no longer has sea ports. Vibes and currents pass through yet nothing stays within Austria's borders. This could explain the nation's sense of melancholy. No stranger to that, Ptak flirts with the greats from his country, but only for twenty to thirty seconds however, before choosing the entirely opposite direction. On 'Merging' I hear Balkan brass of the most minimal kind as I come back to my initial impressions. On 'Flood', Martin Ptak becomes so overwhelmed by passion that his piano playing turns slightly sloppy. The residue sounds heard next on 'Sinking' follow that flood of emotions immaculately. Eerie screeches and breezy trumpets on 'Darkstone' recall Pere Ubu's 'Dub Housing' but in a dub version as it were. All about streams of water, the album the 'River Tales' starts quite well, and becomes more complex and varied towards the end. The best is saved until the last, 'Panta Rhei' brings out the finest of Martin Ptak's piano playing.



Track Listing:-
1 The Source
2 Stream
3 Wings
4 Merging
5 Storm
6 Flood
7 Sinking
8 Darkstone
9 Cyclo
10 Kanon
11 Panta Rhei
12 Digital Booklet: River Tales



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