ANATOL VIERU (1926-1998): Ode au Silence (Symphony No. 1), Op. 47 (George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest; Corneliu Dumbraveanu), Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 29 (Vladimir Orloff [cello], GEPO Bucharest; Zubin Mehta. rec. 1964), Sonnenuhr, Op. 52 (SWF Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden; Ernest Bour. rec. Oct. 4, 1969), Jocuri for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 36 (Remus Manoleanu [piano], Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra; Emil Simon), Écran, Op 56 (L’Orchestre philharmonique de l’ORTF; Bruno Maderna, rec. April 14, 1971).
Catalogue Number: 07S060
Reference: TRO-CD 01449
Description: A most unusual and fascinating composer whose career spanned tumultuous events in his native Rumania and seismic shifts in his compositional idiom. This disc contains works from both ends of the 1960s, and they could scarcely be more stylistically different. The two concerti show definite traces of his studies with Khachaturian, especially the cello concerto, which incorporates folk idioms and eastern-European modes in a modern idiom that allows a good deal of tonality and playfulness. The same is true of the piano concerto 'Games' from the following year; this has more modern characteristics, but incorporates jazz touches and children's rhymes alongside atonality and in one movement, aleatory, in a work that succeeds in being accessible and even light-heartedly entertaining. The 1967 Symphony No.1 seems to represent a kind of watershed. Bearing the title 'Ode to Silence', this ponderous, dissonant work consists largely of massive blocks of orchestral sound and amorphous, sonorous interludes containing ominous obsessive rhythmic tapping and fragments of scales, birdsong and noise textures. Silence - about horrors witnessed in WWII and repression under the Ceausescu regime - was an essential survival mechanism in the composer's life, and this huge, eroded monolith seems to refer to this. The other two works, slightly later, cross entirely into avant garde territory, featuring fantastically textured surfaces of sound and noise, with wind machines, sirens, an electric guitar and a great deal of graphically notated controlled indeterminacy, seeming to suggest that with enough layers of activity and brightly glittering soundscape to hold the listener's attention, no-one will notice the silence underneath.