“Antonymes is a project of the English composer Ian M. Hazendine. (For Now We See) Through a Glass Dimly is his fourth album and contains 10 songs. According to the press release, he works in the style of Max Richter and Erik Satie, and that is correct, because the piano plays an important role in his compositions. But in contrast to his colleagues, Antonymes introduces vocals (sometimes) and a broad carpet of beautiful symphonic sounds in which the violins create a warm background.
The Lure of the Land begins with rustling strings, careful and delicate, and then gets more volume, with an insistent solo violin in the foreground and short piano notes as falling drops of water: a dreamy and atmospheric symphonic track. In Elegy (ii) the piano comes strongly to the fore with deep tones, supported by high violins in the background. The sound of a solo violin, a dark cello and a piano are added, and finally the silky and warm voice of Joanna Swan (from the Bristol band Ilya): a beautiful classical sounding composition as the modern counterpart of the 19th-century German Lied. Music for sensitive souls.
Toward Tragedy and Dissolution is a simple composition for piano and cello with a gentle orchestral accompaniment in the background (arrangement by James Banbury – Bloc Party, Editors). We hear Satie-like sounds in a 19th-century romantic setting: andante and meditative. Delicate Power is the second single from the album, but you will not hear this track on pop radio stations, because Antonymes remains in the field of classical music, although the emphatic wood percussion and the repetitive violins define this composition as a contemporary piece of music. In Elegy (iv), the suggested silence is as important as the reverberating piano sound that quietly finds its way as a slow flowing stream through a pristine landscape.
In Fatal Ambition, the repetitive piano is accompanied by brass instruments, giving the track a cautious jazz atmosphere. It is the least classic composition so far. A Sadder Light than Waning Moon gets a brief intro of bubbling electronics. It is a quiet piano ballad in the style of Max Richter and Ludovicus Einaudi. Halfway, a buzzing orchestra enters the soundscape with electronic accents that sound like a monotonous Morse signal. Very beautiful and special. In Sixteen Zero Six Fifteen, the slightly surreal piano creates a nice canvas for a quiet orchestra. For a moment, thunder-like percussion accompanies the violins on their way to a crescendo. A beautiful track with celestial strings, and then a lone piano…
The short track Little Emblems of Eternity gets surreal piano sounds, wind-like electronics and a text by the British writer Paul Morley, intoned by Paul van den Broeke, while title track Through a Glass Dimly starts with an atmospheric intro of dark strings and high violins, and then evolves into a composition with march-like qualities and a grand finale.
(For Now We See) Through a Glass Dimly is an album that will appeal to lovers of classical and neoclassical music, to people who love adventure and who are familiar with contemporary developments in the field of piano music. We put Antonymes between Erik Satie, Max Richter, Ludovicus Einaudi and Bruno Sanfilippo.”