MATHIAS SPAHLINGER (b.1944): Furioso for Ensemble (Ensemble Modern; Hans Zender), Gegen unendlich for Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Cello and Piano, Fugitive beauté for Oboe, Alto Flute, Violin, Bass Clarinet, Viola and Cello (Ensemble Recherche), Apo do for String Quartet (Arditti String Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 02K124
Description: Philosophy in musical form - at least, if you buy into the thesis of the less than transparent booklet notes. Spahlinger's music is concerned with such lofty concerns as infinity, or the infinitesimal boundaries between adjacent events. In the age of scientific dissection of quantities such as time and pitch into ever smaller micro-units, speculation as to the limits of these processes is probably a very valid exercise, though it is a brave composer who attempts, as Spahlinger seems to be doing, to produce an actual, performable musical model for them. In terms of the musical substance of these compositions, small microtonal intervals are taken for granted, of course; and rapid timbral transitions between instruments or between isolated pitches and playing techniques. Inevitably, in music that is all concerned with boundaries and flux, there is a certain disjointedness to what might once have been regarded as the musical argument, but presumably that is part of the point.