Reviews and Press for Triptych
Kastning / Szabó / Major
Greydisc Records - GDR3509
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
"I always regard the release of a new Kevin Kastning CD as more an event that
a mere issuance, as one never quite knows what they guy is going to be up to
next. Music such as his is rare indeed, which is why he's been attracting so
much attention from so many quarters (having recently, for instance, finished a
disc with the formidable Michael Manring, to be issued later in 2012). For
Triptych, Kastning rejoins long-time partner Sándor Szabó; but also brings
in Balŕzs Major, who has partnered with the latter guitarist in the Szabó-Major
Duo, a gent who changes several sonic characteristics while remaining syncopatic
to the moody Kastning sound.
The first cut, Triptych I, starts straightaway in a landscape both stripped down and lush in its barren beauty, understated but gleaming with foggy light and glimpsed vistas, much like Ken Browne's evocative paintings gracing the release in a, you guessed it, triptych (the ECM design of the CD is completely apropos). One of my favorite unknown masterpieces of modern music is Morphogenesis' first release (still available, so far as I know, only in the original cassette form) because it's so Stockhausenly incidentalist, and Kastning has frequently, either in entire songs or passages, woven that mode further into musicality while retaining the overpoweringly alien pictorial aspects. The addition of Major does much to sketch out new terrain, to architect the environment more subtly.
Hats off to the designer for enlarging Browne's compelling abstractist Hudson River / Turner canvases within the liner's tri-fold interior. Beautiful! Gorgeous! And so evocative of the music that the two suggest one another telepathically. As ever, the compositions are improvised on the spot, which always lends an added dimension to any music, yet appear impeccably pre-written, detailed to the last jot and tittle, to the final gesture and inference. Lower the lights, sit back, turn off the thought processes, and just listen. There's nothing more required, but, oh my, what occurs when you do so in the presence of such art."
All songs composed by Kastning / Szabó / Major.
Edited by: David N. Pyles - Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
"I listened to Triptych yesterday. It is probably my favourite release to date. The playing is superb, and the percussion adds skeleton to the music, for lack of a better term. I have to listen to it more, as it is pretty dense, but man, I think the three of you nailed it. Your bass / rhythm / drone / lead / atmospheric role on the Contra sounds very good and original, especially with the tabla. The recording, mixing and mastering sound top notch as well. I hope you're going to tour with that outfit."
- Laurent Brondel
"I have really been enjoying Triptych. I think it may be my favorite Kastning/Szabo disc yet."
- Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player magazine
Thank you so much for the copy of Triptych. It's gorgeous! I love the sense of space and introspection and the sound is impeccable. The combination of the three of you is wonderfully full and satisfying and it's great to hear music where you can feel how deeply all the players are listening. Please pass on my congratulations to Balazs. Bravo!
All the best,
- Michael Manring
"Kevin Kastning projects: I also missed the initial releases of these in late 2011, but the recent Kastning releases "Triptych" and "I walked into the silver darkness" are fascinating albums that deserve intense listening. These came into KZUM, where the Other Music crew has spun a few tracks over the last several months, but I'm going to need to investigate these beautiful albums more deeply as soon as I can. Fans of extended-range guitar approaches can find ordering information on Kastning's discography page."
- KZUM-FM Radio
"I was amazed at the Triptych album,
totally brilliant work."
- Music Web Express 3000 Magazine (USA)
"The instrumental virtuosity has returned with another milestone with the release of the fantastic album "Triptych" created by three musical geniuses: Kevin Kastning, Sándor Szabó and Balázs Major. A new release on CD by the label GREYDISC RECORDS in late 2011, and where the expertise and talent of these three tireless seekers of the perfect sound led them to write these twelve songs full of emotional evocation and for mental stimulation to be enjoyed peacefully by lovers of classical guitar sound. Compared with other wonderful previous albums, "Triptych" is presented much more vibrant, more intense, more vital, and as they come each one of these great musical themes like waves on the shore of our imagination, music lovers will inevitably readers Athena Lux Webzine entering the sensitive state, half awake half dreaming, where the senses expand and sensitivity achieved balance in perfect harmony with these magical compositions. And that musical magic by which we achieve a high level of sensitivity to sounds, melodies and instrumental textures, becomes essential language with which Kevin Kastning, Sándor Balázs Szabó and manage to attract and encourage Major our spirit through these stunning compositions for guitar. Normally accustomed to comment one by one all the items on an album, but in the case of "Triptych", these wonderful compositions I have felt more like a whole than as separate and very different from each other. This is not to say or imply that these compositions give continuity to the same melodic line throughout this amazing and passionate work, because in the case of "Triptych", the change in sound structures in the evolution of Kastning, and in the instrumental role, innovative character are constantly changing. For this reason, the sound that is so special and virtuous Kevin Kastning, Sándor Szabó, and Balázs Major use in each of these tracks plunge us into a dimension where expansive and luminous musical beauty manages to attract attention with mild sensory subtlety. A radiant artistic achievement and dimension, in this magnificent album, today expands its presence to the field of view with the paintings created by Ken Browne which has graced this album. A great success, a musical work more sublime and majestic in both its interpretation and in its recording. "Triptych", the delicate and insinuating sound of classical guitar in the hands of musical genius can only bring forth fruite which is a formidable album like this. Enjoy it!
- Lux Atenea Webzine (SPAIN)