TRYGVE MADSEN (b.1940): Grotesques and Arabesques, WOLFGANG PLAGGE (b.1960): Mare, Op. 93, Concerto Grosso III, Op. 108, BJØRN KRUSE (b.1946): Boogie Retention.
Catalogue Number: 12I093
Description: Madsen's work pays tribute to composers whose work means much to him - Shostakovich, Ravel, Strauss (R., with a nod to J.), Schoenberg, Debussy and Prokofiev, in a series of just authentic enough to be convincing pastiches of each composer's characteristic style. Plagge's evocation of the polar seas is more serious but just as approachable; he exploits the spatial and quasi-orchestral possibilities and sonorities of the ensemble in four basically tonal tone-paintings, for all their rampant chromaticism. The final storm is a kind of second cousin to Britten's, tempestuous and menacing. His Concerto Grosso employs elements of dodecaphony - the opening passacaglia, coolly insistent, is based on a twelve-note theme - and the whole work exploits ostinati, which given the resources of eight hands allows the creation of convincingly quasi-orchestral sonorities. Kruse's piece is an homage to the idea of boogie-woogie; no mere pastiche, the music is often quite abstract and less than harmonically straightforward, though always propelled by the characteristic jazzy rhythms of this early and highly influential jazz form. Aurora Quartett (four pianists, two pianos).