KENNETH HESKETH (b.1968): Knotted Tongues, Of Time and Disillusionment, In ictu oculi - 3 Meditations.
Catalogue Number: 11U072
Label: Paladino Music
Reference: pmr 0092
Description: In these three recent works we encounter impressive examples of the composer's ongoing preoccupations with the impermanence of mechanisms, which decay and break down, and of 'life's lustful joys' in musical equivalents of 'vanities' or memento mori. His style is one of dense yet lucid textures in constant, restless motion, and given the subject matter of the works, they are unsurprisingly intense and unsettling. In these respects some similarities to Birtwistle may be noted - Of Time and Disillusionment expressly refers to clockwork mechanisms and chimes, for instance. Knotted Tongues develops through the rupturing and reforming of blocks of material - large, swirling masses of orchestral texture - developing a sense of a vast self-renewing perpetual motion machine in a constant state of instability. 'In the Blink of an Eye' has a labyrinthine structure, meditating on aspects of mortality; similar territory, but for much larger forces, to Graven Image, from our previous offering of Hesketh's music (06O086). The haunting and haunted piece meditates on the idea that all things - cultures, individuals and civilisations - are temporary. The work is in three sections; the first progresses with inexorable momentum through a stygian landscape, the second, a 'slow movement' is 'the lone and level sands' of Shelley's "Ozymandias", and the last a spectral nightmare of the fear of death. BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Christoph-Mathias Mueller.