KETIL HVOSLEF (b.1939): Erkejubel for 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Synthsizer and Percussion, Duo Due for Violin and Cello, Frammenti di Roma I-XI for Clarinet, Oboe and Bassoon, Scheherazade Forteller Videre for Violin and Harp, Canis Lagopus for String Quartet, Double Bass and Percussion

Catalogue Number: 02Q065

Label: LAWO Classics

Reference: LWC 1066

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Erke Jubel consists of strongly rhythmic fanfares in short repeating cells, underpinned by a persistent beat; a perfect example of what seems to be a favorite device of the composer's - a blend of ostinato, minimalism and a hint of popular styles - it also turns up in Canis Lagopus and sections of Scheherazade, in which undulating ostinati accompany solemn slow-moving chords or delightful melody in which cheekily uses Rimsky's theme as an introduction to a brace of additional tales - the narrative characterization is very vivid, despite the limited instrumental resources. The Duo is a rather acerbic conversation between the two instruments, much of the material based on two dissonant intervals in a kind of very un-minimalistic minimalism, obsessively going around and around meandering melodies, little gestures and strident percussive interruptions, all based on almost no material at all. The result is a great deal more entertaining than that sounds as though it has any right to be! The "Roman Fragments" are tiny vignettes of aspects of the city; it's easy to understand what type of scene is being depicted - bustling crowds, a garrulous conversationalist replete with emphatic gesticulation, the solemn coolness of a church interior, the choir practising its chant somewhere out of sight, the crumbling ancient monuments crowded with insufficiently respectful tourists - yet difficult to say what musical style the pieces are in, as the composer uses whatever idiom imitates the scene best, with no real attention to form or idiom. It is typical of the composer's humor that the title of Canis Lagopus is revealed to be purely for the purpose of drawing attention to an endangered species of Arctic Fox (and it works; the temptation to Google it is irresistible now, isn't it?), and has nothing to do with the music, which is a sort of off-kilter scherzo full of ticking, pulsing beats and obstinate little gestures demanding to be heard. Members of the Grieg Academy and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.


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