PAUL MÉFANO (b.1937): Micromégas.
Catalogue Number: 07P071
Reference: MAG 111.170
Description: Mefano's music drama is difficult to classify, as it embodies in its musical diversity and extravagance the satirical ad absurdum conceits of Voltaire's story in which two gigantic extraterrestrial interact with the minuscule philosophers of earth. Darmstadt-raised, Mefano is not afraid to throw a bewildering variety of influences and techniques into the mix, from ironic allusions to operatic conventions from the 18th century to the present, quarter-tone material (for the visitor from Saturn, diminished in scale next to his colossal companion from Sirius), extended techniques and noise textures some apparently of electronic origin) . . . A frequent exception to this polystylistic mélange is the vocal writing for the main protagonists, which is more often than not of linear, narrative clarity, even conventionally melodic, standing out like figurative characters in a surreal abstract landscape. This is important, as the examination of ideas is central to the text, and benefits from unobscured presentation; the surrounding material, on the other hand, leaves the listener in no doubt as to the tone and context in which these ideas are being put forward for discussion. 2 CDs. French libretto. Kaoli Isshiki, Royanne Dupuis (sopranos), Eric Trémolières (tenor), Nicholas Isherwood (bass), Pierre Villa-Loumagne (reciter), Ensemble 2e2m; Pierre Roullier. 2007 release.