One year after marveling at Lisa Bielawa’s Kafka Songs at the Other Minds festival—almost in time for the next Other Minds festival, actually—I’m finally realizing that Kafka Songs has been available on CD for years. Call me slow.
Bielawa more recently worked with Kihlstedt and violinist Colin Jacobsen on a double violin concerto, performed with Colin Jacobsen. On this piece, as on Kafka Songs, Kihlstedt’s voice and violin are put to use simultaneously, creating a role that’s rare in classical music and probably challenging to pull off.
The mood bursts open when Kihlstedt’s song winds up dramatically, calling up the entry of some circusy brass to quickly end the movement.