MAURICIO KAGEL (1931-2008): Orchestrion-Straat (musikFabrik; Reinbert de Leeuw), LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (b.1939): Racconto dall'inferno (Cristina Zavalloni [clarinet], musikFabrik; de Leeuw), MARTIN SMOLKA (b.1959): Rush (Hour in Celestial Streets) (musikFabrik; Peter Rundel).
Catalogue Number: 08M105
Reference: WER 6853 2
Description: This disc presents three unrelated pieces by notable modernists indulging their taste for absurdism. Smolka's piece represents a celestial traffic jam - a comical 'what-if?' notion; what if in an overcrowded and modernized heaven, angels had to cope with traffic disruptions just as we do here? Blaring horns and minimalistic repetition are set against a backdrop of frequently microtonal sonorous texture, ethereal and floating. It's a good joke, told very well. The great musical practical joker Kagel here has an orchestra imitating a fairground orchestrion, a pneumatically driven mechanism designed to imitate an orchestra. With its incessantly busy, hectic hyperactivity, this is one of Kagel's most entertaining essays in music about music. Andriessen's piece, based on episodes from Dante's 'Commœdia', consists of a series of musical grotesques, beginning with an obvious descent into the underworld which becomes a gloriously over-the-top dramatic scena in Andriessen's trademark harsh wind-driven sonorities and brutalistic minimalism.