OLAV ANTON THOMMESEN (b.1946): The Hermaphrodite.
Catalogue Number: 09S066
Description: Thommessen's enigmatic ballet-opera consists of a series of tableaux in which the figure of the Hermaphrodite is used to explore themes of otherness, alienation, longing and existential questions of identity (not only gender identity). The texts used are from the Secret Gospel of Mark, in which the resurrection of Lazarus is reinterpreted as an allegory of sexual awakening, and by D.H. Lawrence and Isidore Ducasse. Thommessen's idiom, as usual, is wide-rangingly eclectic, but far from unapproachable, with instrumental textures of opalescent beauty intermingled with ritualistic rhythmic episodes, several times rising to a frenzy of an unmistakable nature. The work as a whole, with its chanted vocal recitations and sustained melodic lines haloed in chordal vocal harmony that drifts around in ghostly glissandi, occupies a dream-like world, fluid and full of evanescent aural phantoms. 2 CDs. Norwegian-English libretto. Eir Inderhaug, Isa Katharina Gericke (sopranos), Anna Elisabeth Einarsson (mezzo), Nils Harald Sødal (tenor), Espen Fegran (baritone), Oslo Sinfonietta; Christian Eggen.