KASPER ROFELT (b.1982): Dichotomy for Ensemble, Entourage II for Violin, Horn and Piano, Forward! for Contrabass Clarinet, Harp, Piano and String Trio, Around for Cello and Piano, Stay for Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Sérénade pour Ionesco for Ensemble, Cantando for Ensemble.

Catalogue Number: 07Y056

Label: Dacapo

Reference: 6.220716

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: Engaging, diverting works for a variety of ensembles, used with clarity and precision, with humorous elements and sometimes sinister, and often obsessive, undertones. A modern trend among composers striving for ready accessibility, while not resorting to tonality, is to keep harmonies straightforward and clear, and predominantly consonant, not eschewing tonal harmony while never using it functionally. This is very much the path followed by Rofelt here. Most of the works are based on limited material, consisting of small gestures, and a great deal of repetition, not evolving in the minimalistic sense but subject to a kind of continuous variation within a very constricted framework. Thus the two contrasting movements of Dichotomy explore different types of material - linear and chordal in the first, scale figures in the rhythmically energetic second - without a sense of development, just one of restless motion. Entourage II uses a chord and an arpeggio, which appear in various "disguises" playing different "characters" - glissandi, scales, a drone, a tolling or trilling bell - while remaining essentially the same "actors". The Serenade captures Absurdism in six miniatures, in which, for example, an Impressionistic harp piece is punctuated by rhythmically precise tapping and equally metrical squeaks from dog toys; or in another movement a chord by Beethoven and a phrase by Mahler are repeated and decorated - a bit - while resolutely refusing to have anything to do with each other. The earliest work, Cantando, is an expanded transcription of an earlier song by Rofelt, and is accordingly more lyrical than the other pieces here, in a chromatic idiom but still with the disconcerting changes and contrasts of treatment of material in the different "verses". Danish Chamber Players.


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