One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Enno POPPE (b. 1969)
Interzone (2003-4) [76:42]
Omar Ebrahim (voice)
Neue Vocasolisten
ensemble mosaik/Jonathan Stockhammer
rec. Haus der Berliner Festspiele, September 2004
KAIROS 0012552KAI [76:42]

Experience Classicsonline
In case the packaging - attractive but "modern" in design - and the lower-case typography of the "ensemble mosaik" don't clue you in on what to expect, let's take a look at the start of Rainer Pöllmann's program note:

“The interstices are what fascinate artists. What is the static nature of ordered, thoroughly defined conditions compared to transitions, compared to those zones in which the unambiguous dissolves and the diffuse spreads itself out?”

In other words, it's a lot of mumbo-jumbo - the sort of thing that too many tenured professors pretend actually means something - and, frankly, so is the composition on the CD. It’s a tired accumulation of clichéd sounds (electronics, voices deployed in odd ranges and for odd effects) and gestures (little hiccoughy repetitions, tone-clusters, seemingly random rhythms) that might once have been thought avant-garde. But, by now, many of us have simply left this sort of nonsense behind.

This might indeed be "the product of a relationship between a poet [Marcel Beyer], a composer, and a video artist," and so effective as a piece of theatre - though I, personally, would have trouble sitting through it - but the audio component alone, which is what we get here, gives us little reason to listen to it. The artificial sonic environment, lack of tonal and rhythmic mooring, and deliberately disjunct motifs assure that, even when an acoustic instrument is in the spotlight, its timbre is robbed of any sensuous or appealing quality. Paradoxically, the twelve-minute instrumental interlude entitled Broken Pieces, with its long, conjunct woodwind lines, actually sounds less "broken" than the passages that precede and follow. The Neue Vocalsolisten could as easily have been replaced by more synthesizers, especially when such effects as pitch-bending - in Part II (track 12), I initially thought the bass had a terrible wobble - are called for.

Perhaps Beyer's text is supposed to function as an extra-musical unifying factor, but it's not easy to follow its sense. The declamation, marked by pregnant and apparently pointless pauses, with which narrator Omar Ebrahim opens the proceedings is hammy and portentous. After all the subsequent auditory clutter and overwrought melodrama, however, the comparative calm of this introduction retrospectively seems a high point.

I've also heard better-engineered new-music productions. Here, the woodwind instruments - flute, oboe, English horn, three clarinets, and two saxophones - register with tangible presence, but the sonic frame seems distinctly compressed in those passages dominated by the synthesized elements, which, after all, lack the presence and expansive depth of acoustic sounds. Oddly, the voices seem similarly compressed and disembodied - one is hard put even to pinpoint the singers' locations within the space.

Stephen Francis Vasta


















































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.