stage music for men's chorus and instrumental ensemble (1967)
New London Chamber Choir, Critical Band, James Wood
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
“This enterprising release is a great success, showing just how varied – and unintimidating – Xenakis's music can be. The performances are nothing short of phenomenal in their technical assurance and emotional power, and the recording is also something special, giving the singers just the right degree of space and resonance to project the often complex textures with all the necessary precision. The earliest works offer different angles on the composer's ultra-expressionist idiom, with Nuits (1967) adopting a very direct way of representing its anguished lament for the martyrs of Greece's struggle for freedom after 1945. Medea (also 1967) uses much more text, and its chant-like style has affinities with Stravinsky's Les noces, but the overall effect is much harsher, with abrasive yet imaginative instrumental writing. A Colone (1977) also has Stravinskian affinities, and the text (Sophocles's description of the delights of Colonus) prompts music which is uninhibitedly exuberant. This warmer, more celebratory side of Xenakis is carried over into Serment (1980), a short setting of a text derived from the Hippocratic Oath and not, one suspects, an entirely serious effort, though there's nothing trivial about it either. Finally, the superb Knephas ('Darkness') of 1990 begins in an appropriately unsparing manner, but ends with a hymnic apotheosis which recalls Messiaen in its harmonic character and warmth of atmosphere. Here is one of the 20th century's most important musical voices, and this recording does it full justice.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.