One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Stille
Georg Friedrich HAAS (b. 1953)

Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht (2011) [26:03]
Evan JOHNSON (b. 1980)
Die Bewegung der Augen (2011-12, rev. 2013-14) [13:31]
Jani CHRISTOU (1926-1970)
Anaparastasis III „The Pianist“ (1968) [16:26]
Georg Friedrich HAAS
… Wie stille brannte das Licht (2009)* [21:34]
Ensemble Musikfabrik
Sarah Wegener (soprano)*
Conductors: Emilio Pomàrico (Ich suchte), Christian Eggen (Die Bewging), Rupert Huber (Anaparastasis III), Enno Poppe (Wie stille).
rec. 2010-14, Klaus-von-Bismark-Saal, WDR Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Cologne
WERGO WER6865 2 [77:59]

Silence is essential in music, though is not always uncontroversial. The notes for this release open with a quote from John Cage, “…try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.” Reading further, the four pieces here “reflect four completely different attempts to deal with emotional or audible silence, giving us a glimpse behind the ‘continuum’ that surrounds us.”

Georg Friederich Haas conjures the Songs of Solomon in his deeply effective“Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht” but in a wordless setting. Unusual instruments and a harmonium contribute to a Farben like exploration of timbre in slowly shifting harmonies and textures, using quarter-tones and glissandi to drag dissonance beyond conventional tonality. There are some echoes of Ligeti here, though Haas’s treatment of tension is rather different, heating up and diffusing dynamics rather than forcing fever-pitch climaxes that explode from sheer pressure. If you like cloud-like interplays of overtones and hints of common chords amongst strangeness and darkly ominous sonorities then this will keep you nicely chilled and fully involved.

Evan Johnson’s die bewegung der augen “deliberately deals with breaks and pauses” to the extent that you will at first be getting up to find out if something has gone wrong with your hi-fi. Acoustical events are blanked by silences as sudden and opaque as a power-cut in winter, the music a strange mixture of nervy and introspective fragments – a Braque still-life seen through a broken kaleidoscope.

Greek composer Jani Christau’s last completed work, Anaparastasis III is part of a project that was to have comprised forty compositions. This is a theatrical work with a suffering pianist, and musicians being led by a conductor instructed to create a feeling of “impending disaster.” An atmosphere is set up by a ‘continuum’ of tape sound, while events unfold into ultimate screams and general pandemonium. If you’ve ever heard Monty Python’s ‘The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots’ then you might find listening to this with a straight face rather difficult.

Georg Friederich Haas returns with … wie stille brannte das Licht, which draws on “the silence of a burning light” from Georg Trakl’s poem Nachts as well as other verses by a variety of poets to form a cycle of seven “Songs of Night.” The texts are given in the foldout sheet which has the programme notes – a rather unusual layout that makes reading it in a crowded train something of a challenge, but means the back gives us a wrinkly poster of Gerhard Richter’s ‘Kugel I’ – a photo of ball-bearing. Haas’s work with sound textures and spectral overtones is in evidence here, Sarah Wegener’s voice at times taking on a more instrumental role, and expressively communicating the text settings where these occur. This is weighty music but fairly approachable in its post-romantic dramatics if you have already at one time or another found yourself immersed in something like Berg’s Wozzeck.
 
This is a superbly performed and intriguing collection of modern music. Evan Johnson’s piece is a bit gimmicky and loses puff after giving away most of its secrets in the first minute or so. Jani Christou’s work is somewhat of its time and should really be seen as well as heard. Georg Friederich Haas is very much worth hearing however, and I shall certainly be looking out for more in this Edition Musikfabrik series from Wergo.

Dominy Clements

 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger