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Monday, February 4, 2019

Christoph Maria Wagner, RemiX

On remiX (Deutschlandfunk Coviello Contemporary  91728) composer Christoph Maria Wagner takes the Pop-HipHop-Dance Music idea of the remix and applies in to a compositional view of things. In other words the remix practice of taking the original content of a recording and re-arranging and/or reemphasizing the original elements is applied directly to written musical content. So we experience a re-situating of Beethoven on the "remiX-Suite fur Klavier," of German folksongs on "remiX IV," Scriabin on "remiX V."

The "Suite for Klavier" makes use of the idea of layering and bifurcation to assemble a complex multi-stranded pianism, to re-present some familiar Beethoven (the first theme from his Fifth). The results are a massive "making new,"  a de-sequencing and re-situating of the musical elements in complex ways.

"remiX IV" makes excellent use of the large chamber ensemble E-MEX and soprano Ruth Weber in the re-presentation of eleven German folk songs. I find this work especially invigorating. It is no mean feat to create a kind of High Modernism expanse out of on the surface of things rather earthy fare, from what one might think of as contra-Modern fare. That Wagner succeeds in creating an "other" is a tribute, surely, to his vision and musical acumen. And it is first-rate Contemporary music at that.

The other principal piece on the program in the "remiX V" combines piano (the composer), live electronics (Carter Williams) and pre-recorded loops to deconstruct and reconstruct some Scriabin source material.

All told this CD program gives us a deeply complex and expansive universe of very Modern sounds that allow us to open to an alternate perspective of what it is to do New Music today. I recommend this one surely for anyone interested in the advanced nether realms of the very contemporary right now.

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