Review – The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maria de Alvear
Eve Egoyan, piano
Reviewed by Elissa Poole

Intervals, or the relationships between pitches, make up a realm of infinite contingencies in Maria de Alvear’s solo piano work Asking, an Unanswered Question for the 21st century. Most of the piece is extraordinarily spare, offering the listener intimate knowledge of each interval as it comes (whether horizontal or vertical). But there are also sections of dense, clustered, dissonant, grittily sensuous chords that repeat in urgent swaths – an architecture in progress, constructed from columns of intervals, and an antithesis to Debussy’s Cathédrale engloutie. Pianist Eve Egoyan shapes this intractable material with customary sublety and concentration, as if holding her breath for the entire 60-minute piece.