WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Will Sound, CHARLES WUORINEN (b.1938): Big Spinoff, AUGUSTA READ THOMAS (b.1964): Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour (w/ Kirsten Sollek [alyo], Caleb Burhans [countertenor]), JOHN ORFE (b. mid1960s): Journeyman, EDGARD VARÈSE (1883-1965): Poème éléctronique (arr. Evan Hause [b.1967]), THE BEATLES: Revolution 9 (arr. Matt Marks).

Catalogue Number: 05R071

Label: Cantaloupe

Reference: CA21117

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: This program rather invites the question, what constitutes 'modernism' nowadays anyway? These pocket-sized recent pieces are unlikely to scare anybody remotely aware of what the avant garde has been up to since the 1950s. But it's an interesting recital of pieces written for the ensemble, plus two arrangements of works that were wildly experimental when they first appeared ingeniously transcribed from their Musique concrète originals for acoustical performers. The Beatles' Revolution 9 was an experimental collage of 'found' sounds and electronically transformed material that horrified many fans of the group's songs when it appeared on the 'White Album'. Rendered in this arrangement it retains its character of a rather random homage to the avant garde of the time. The Varèse was similarly challenging in its time, and rendered by live musicians it now presents different challenges; as it's a better piece of music, the result is more interesting. Wuorinen's vigorous, compact piece has an irresistible momentum that is extremely attractive despite its resolute attempt at avoidance of tonality, while Orfe's work has something in common with free jazz, and contains material that doesn't sound especially 'modern' in the context of the other works here. Rihm is playing at being a 'modernist' to commission here, allowing in only a few gestures from what his music usually sounds like these days; his gnomic program note which rather gives the game away is omitted from the CD notes, but you can find it easily enough on his publisher's website. The Thomas has her readily identifiable bright, glittering timbres as the background to two intertwined poems by Wallace Stevens. Alarm Will Sound.

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