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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kreu Zungen, Vassos Nicolaou, Johannes Schollhorn, Gerard Grisey, Dieter Mack

If life sometimes turns a blind eye to the main chance, music will always remain as a solace. And for those of you with High Modernist sympathies, solace is not far away. It resides on a CD called Kreu Zungen (Wergo Edition Musikfabrik 13). Pellucid, beautifully pellucid music from four composers in the New Music echelon I have neither heard, nor heard of. Obliquely relevant to this music and its hearing is the term  Klangfarbenmelodie, giving the melody to more than one instrument to color the sound, literally sound color melody. To the extent that this music has melody, and in a way it is all melody, it is pronouncedly klangfarben in the best ways. It is what Impressionism strived for, something that arguably bests delivers when conventional step-side and orderly melodics are supplanted by a whirlwind of color splattering onto our receiving aural apparatus!

Three of the four works here enjoy World Premiere Recordings. None of the four are the least bit tentative or undirected. Far from that. Each work has spectral presence, pellucidly powered by the excellently muscular, yet klangfarben driven krustophany of Ensemble Musikfabrik? Yes, how else could I put it?

I am being slightly playful today, yet quite seriously this music is a rather wonderful grouping of decent-sized chamber ensemble music that takes the idea of sound color and extends it so nicely that you want or I want anyway to hear it many times. It stays with you as devilishly fascinating and utterly forward reaching sounds of great beauty. The beautiful can still exist on the New Music front and these works in vivid performance tell you how that can be.

And so I do very much recommend you hear these four composers: Vassos Nicolaou and his "Farbenmaschinen," Johannes Schollhorn and his "Pieces Croisees," Gerard Grisey and his "Partiels" and Dieter Mack and his "Kammermusik V."

It all fits together as parts of a whole, the whole being what new SOUNDS the New Music can continue to give us. That is a project very dear to my heart and so the hearing of this makes me feel like there most surely IS a future for High Modernist sound sculpting. Outstanding disk!

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