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Gander: Monsters & Angels
Bernhard Gander was born in Tirol Austria where he studied piano and conducting and later studied composition with Beat Furrer in Graz.
He is well known for his experimentation with electronic music and has in the past been inspired by luminary figures such as Xenakis, comic book heroes, rap and hard rock music!
This CD presents a selection of works inspired from various aspects of his interests, collectively called ‘Monsters and Angels’. The second piece on the disc, ‘kuhl’ was written for the Arditti Quartet who perform the work on this recording.
Other works are performed by orchestra, voices, strings and trombones and will be a must for all collectors of modern music at its very best.
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Marco: Musica para voces e instrumentos
Irvine Arditti (violin), Rafael Galvez (percussion), Joseph Furio (percussion), Dionisio Villalba (percussion), Emma Brodi (percussion), Joan Castello (percussion), Raul Benavent (percussion)
Madrid Community Chorus, Madrid Chamber Orchestra, Jose Ramon Encinar, Jordi Casas Bayer, Miguel Groba
Toshio Hosokawa: Solo Concertos, Vol. 1
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James Dillon - The Soadie Waste
“The 27-year period covered by this group of compositions, taking James Dillon from his mid-twenties to his early fifties, could hardly fail to outline substantial changes. Dillug-Kefitsah (1976) might well be fully representative in its relish for weird titles and joyful technical radicalism, shifting between gentleness and turbulence in thoroughly disconcerting ways.
But it gives little sign of the delight in forceful pattern-making and affectionate allusion to a Glaswegian location that makes the soadie waste (2003) such a bracing and engaging experience.
The more confidently international Dillon's range of reference, the more resourceful his acknowledgement of his native Scots roots becomes.
The two big works here, black/nebulae (1994) and Traumwerk Book III (completed 2002) belong to a time when Dillon was deep in largerscale projects. Yet neither sounds remotely like music of reduced ambition or limited scope.
The space/time drama underpinning black/nebulae promotes a surface that seethes and erupts in 20 effortlessly sustained minutes of duo-pianistic bravura, in which meticulous coordination is as crucial as assertive independence. The 12 miniatures of the Traumwerk collection are even more fastidious in their intricacy, yet the result is often playful, even nonchalant, as Irvine Arditti and Noriko Kawai make light (apparently) of the formidable challenges presented.
Arditti is also characteristically arresting in the 10-minute solo piece Dillon wrote for him in 1988 and named after the fourth element, water.
The music, a miniature drama, is not merely liquid-like in its fluidity but is constantly reaching and retreating from boiling-point.
These performances benefit greatly from the crystal-clear Potton Hall acoustics. With luck, some of Dillon's more substantial works from recent years – even, perhaps, the opera Philomela – will turn up on disc before too long.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“An arresting survey of a composer noted for the cerebral and the visceral” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Biber & Berio - Music for Violins
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Ferneyhough - Funérailles
“Funérailles refers to an imaginary ritual glimpsed from afar, and the way in which the harp punctuates the strings' held notes and outbursts… certainly has something of a ritual's spellbinding quality about it. It’s the richness of detail that first strikes the listener unaccustomed to Ferneyhough's idiom, making Funérailles a good introduction. All in all, a valuable and worthwhile issue.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2006 ****
“One of the particular attractions of this disc is its delineation of contrasts and continuities between Brian Ferneyhough's earlier and later compositions.
The two Funérailles, which he worked on between 1969 and 1980, show the composer emerging from a turbulent expressionism which has affinities with the style of his principal teacher, Klaus Huber, into the kind of hyperfractured yet remarkably coherent manner of his full maturity. Ferneyhough doesn't approve of the two pieces being heard without other music in between, but even if his wishes are disregarded the second piece emerges as an extraordinarily radical analysis of its predecessor, bringing out the kind of aggressive eloquence that confirms Ferneyhough's position as one of the most resourceful expressionists of our time.
Bone Alphabet (1991) is a study of how register, colour and rhythm manifest themselves structurally in the absence of precise pitch patterns.
The booklet-notes, tied as they are to certain timed events in the performance, are useful here, even if they risk suggesting that the music contains more obvious and extreme contrasts than this recording conveys.
With Unsichtbare Farben (1999) we are in the instrumental sound world that Ferneyhough has made his own, the paradoxical title – invisible colours – hinting at a music that aspires to transcend sound itself. It's not exactly that 'unheard melodies are sweeter' but that a music that constantly reaches towards silence can, under the right conditions, have a particularly poignant intensity. These performances are in safe, experienced hands, and the recordings are well conceived to convey the music's special refinements.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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