DAAN MANNEKE (b.1939): Grote Archipel.
Catalogue Number: 12V049
Reference: ZEF 9668
Description: Manneke's Great Archipelago is a series of six pieces, "islands" with some characteristics in common but separated from one another and thus capable of evolving in different directions and exhibiting varying topography and character. The main movements are separated by interludes each of which stay within a particular texture - rapidly flowing, sonorously chordal and so on. The work was written for the six pianists who perform it here. Stylistically and expressively the movements are, ahem, all over the map, though with a consistently strong underlying sense of tonality. The opening Quasi una fantasia is in three parts; neo-impressionistic, a weighty Toccata and a fleet, lighter-weight section. Two movements are based on Bach; a free fantasia on a three-part invention and a rather more literal transcription of a prelude from the Orgelbüchlein. The stately chords and deep, sonorous basses of Night Music relate it to Debussy's Engulfed Cathedral, while the harmonically ambiguous updating of a miniature Baroque suite that makes up the fourth movement has something in common with Busoni, as does the final Pezzo serioso, entitled Canto alla ballata with its sombre, reflective Postlude. Ralph van Raat, Geoffrey Madge, Kelvin Grout, Hannes Minnaar, Jelena Bazova, Daniël Kramer (piano).