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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Accentus, Bruno Mantovani, Voices

Accentus is a crack choral ensemble directed by Laurence Equilbey and Pieter-Jelle de Boer. They embark on an exploration of the works of Boris Mantovani for their recent album Voices (Naive 5420). Four works are represented: "Cinq poemes de Janos Pilinsky," "Vier geistliche Gedichte," "Monde evanoui (Fragments pour Babylone)," and "Cantate No 4 'Komm, Jesu, Komm.'" Added to the choral ensemble as needed (on "Cantate") are Sonia Wieder-Atherton on cello and Pascal Contet on accordion.

All are atmospherically ultra-modern in a post-Ligeti cum Bruno Mantovanian way. Blocks of sound events are laid out architectonically like the structures of a building-in-progress with relative quiescence or agitation as the composer warrants for each sequential unit.

The music demands precision, expression and a highly sonorous musical quality that Accentus takes to readily and beautifully. It would be no exaggeration to state that they come off here as a supreme vehicle for modernist choral music. This is by no means an easy set of pieces to perform but they make it all work with a seeming effortlessness and ease that is by no means easy to achieve.

Kudos, Bruno Mantovani. Kudos, Accentus!

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