£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK

Michel van der AA (b. 1970)
Here Trilogy
Here [enclosed] (2003) [16:33]
Here [in circles] (2002) [14:30]
Here [to be found] (2001) [17:57]
Claron McFaddon (soprano);
Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra/Peter Eötvös (enclosed); Etienne Siebens (in circles; to be found)
rec. MCO, Hilversum, Netherlands 6-7 April 2004; 21-22 June 2005; 23-24 June, 2005. DDD
DISQUIET MEDIA DQM02 [49:00]

Experience Classicsonline


The inside front of the 'digipak' carrying the single CD - less than 50 minutes in duration - containing Michel Van der Aa's Here Trilogy has a quote:
 
Should I breathe the muddied night air?
Tear the light curve off its asymptote?
 
In geometry, an asymptote of a curve is a line where the distance between the curve and the line approaches zero as each reaches infinity; but can never touch it. This characterises one of 40 year-old Dutch composer, Van der Aa's, preoccupations: the relationships between reality and appearance and the way in which - musically - such perceived proximity can (must) be explored. For the composer, music is more than organised or structured sound. It's a form of expression - perhaps regardless of the consequences. And in increasingly theatrical, dramatic and even spectacular ways; though where the drama is always controlled and rational.
 
Van der Aa's original training was as a recording engineer at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague; an early influence was Louis Andriessen. Add to this an emphasis on chords and rhythm in his music and it comes as little surprise that it should be almost impressionistic. If it were poetry, Imagist - blocks of sound and voice, but certainly nothing like Messiaen. Subtle shifts in tonality and a constant sense of progression from one sure-footed musical evocation to another. This is carried off with an uncanny sense that each is inevitable, the only possible transition to be made.
 
The Here Trilogy shares some musical material with the composer's chamber opera, One, which also concentrates on a sole person's search for her self. In the present work soprano Claron McFaddon strikes a subtle - if at times almost strained - balance between Sprechgesang and purely lyrical intonation of two short but intense poems by the composer, from which the quotation comes. For all its basis in abstraction, the work is also highly present and immediate.
 
Only semi-metaphorical is the topos of the branch that snaps in the cold. To be heard repeatedly throughout the music (indeed its sound is almost taken for a surface fault on the CD: it isn't), its crisp, 'one-way' sound is intentionally symbolic of alienation, detachment - derangement and even anger. If the music makes any impact on you at all, that will surely be an appreciation of how subtly and unobtrusively Van der Aa blends such an extramusical idea with a highly tuneful - though neither tonal nor melodic - musical landscape. And the drama, the tension between what's obvious, visible and unambiguous, and what is actually happening, never lets up. You hear it in McFaddon's articulation, in the shifting palette of instrumental colours, which is strong on strings, then woodwind, lastly brass with little percussion. And when the CD has come to its calm, satisfying end, you're aware that such tensions are rarely resolved; only accommodated.
 
Each of the three parts of the trilogy is shot through with the same 11 chords. Here [enclosed] is for chamber orchestra and soundtrack which implies - though never exaggerates - musical containment. Sound plays acoustically fencing-in roles. Here [in circles] is the heart of the trilogy. It's fragile, tactile, tentative yet not fragmented. Here [to be found] is more than an epilogue, yet fulfils its function. By now the urge both to break out of containment and to accept the discrepancies, the dichotomies, between ego and world, between continuity and event, between appearance and reality seems to be itself contained in the music. At its very end there is a kind of rest, repose, resolution. But it's one which, one knows, Van der Aa would have us recognise and acknowledge was there all along.
 
The music is not timeless, floating, vapour-like - as early Ligeti was - nor minimalist. That's one of its many strengths. It's full of incident. It relies on incident. It is just that the rationale for incidence is so concentrated and devoid of spurious emotional overlay that the impact is considerable.
 
So, this is dense, conceptual, experimental and at times unnerving music. The understanding, playing and projection of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra under Eötvös and Siebens render it entirely approachable and, after a couple of hearings, almost familiar. For all the 'freeze' imagery, their interpretation avoids sound-painting. For all the drama, and often verbal drama too, they avoid histrionics or overt reference where those would detract. The best image might perhaps be that the musicians - in the only recording of this intriguing work - recreate everything you expect to see in a cracked and tarnished mirror, exactly as it is; but without ever having access either to what the mirror originally reflected, or to its unbroken state. New music at its impactful and memorable best.
 
Mark Sealey

Michel Van der Aa - Spaces of Blank (Disquiet DQM01)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
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.