HORATIU RADULESCU (1942-2008): Complete Works for Cello - L’Exil Intérieur for Cello and Piano, Op. 98, Pre-Existing Soul of Then for 2 Cellos, Op. 76, for Solo Cello: Das Andere, Op. 49, Lux Animae, Op. 97.
Catalogue Number: 12V051
Description: This is an important disc, gathering together all Rădulescu's works for solo cello (there are of course others with the instrument in various combinations, e.g. 06U063), played by the composer’s widow, Catherine Tunnell. L’Exil Intérieur is effectively a large four-movement cello sonata, written for Tunnell soon after they met. Rădulescu's usual mystical preoccupations are here, but the work is noticeably less radical than many of his experiments in his own brand of spectralism and extended timbres. Although the work's scales are based on spectral overtones, which are manifested in ethereally beautiful harmonics at times, extended techniques are few, and the presence of the conventionally tuned and played piano, and the incorporation of rough-hewn Rumanian folk rhythms and melodic contours, increasingly prevalent in Rădulescu's later music, produces a dramatic, powerfully solid, active and even earthy work. Das Andere, from 1984, which the composer revised and rededicated to Tunnell, by contrast consists almost entirely of extended timbres, the aim being to "... create a sense of trance, close to a spiritism [sic] séance…” Drones and sum-and-difference tones, and evanescent flageolet whispers create an otherworldly effect. Pre-Existing Soul of Then achieves its mystical timbres through Rădulescu's characteristic manipulation of microtonally adjacent intervals played on two cellos. The version recorded here overcomes the well-nigh insuperable difficulties of performance by overdubbing Tunnell playing both parts, allowing an ideal realization of the piece's complex pitch and timing relationships. Lux animae, the other work especially written for Tunnell early in their relationship, turns the cello into a resonant device that emanates impossibly out-of-range harmonic pitches, utilising the full range of the composer’s spectral and extended techniques (including brief vocalisations). Catherine Marie Tunnell (cello), Ian Pace (piano).