OLIVIER GREIF (1950-2000): Sonate de Requiem for Piano and Cello, 3 chansons apocryphes for Soprano and Piano, Le Tombeau de Ravel for 2 Pianos, Todesfuge for Baritone and String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 05I084
Reference: TRI 331119
Description: This fascinating retrospective suggests an urgent need to become acquainted with a largely unknown figure of demonstrable greatness. The Sonate is in fact a requiem for the composer's mother; like all his works, based on highly chromatic but unmistakable tonality, very late-romantic and probably unfashionable, but with music of this level of emotional power, who cares? To speak of this work in the same breath as the great works of Shostakovich or Ravel is not inappropriate. Death is a constantly recurring motif in Greif's work, almost as though he anticipated his own early demise, and the songs, to slightly warped and politically incorrect early popular French texts, are set to made-up 'popular' tunes, spiced with contemporary dissonances and harsh interjections. The Tombeau is attractive, though necessarily dark-hued, latterly progressing to a wild bacchanalian abandon suggestive of La Valse or passages of Daphnis. The agitated and anguished quartet, a free extended fugato incorporating a text from Dylan Thomas' 'Elegy' achieves a constant sense of contrapuntal tension, almost exhausting to listen to, the intensity of the music never relaxing even for a moment. French-English texts. Olivier Greif (piano), Christoph Henkel (cello), Marie Devellereau (soprano), Henri Barda (second piano), Stephan Genz (baritone), Quatuor Sine Nomine.