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Donaueschinger Musiktage 2006 Vol. 3

Donaueschinger Musiktage 2006 Vol. 3

Neos Classics  NEOS 10726

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical


Martin Smolka: Semplice, Wolfgang Mitterer: inwendig losgelöst

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Freiburger Barockorchester
Lucas Vis (conductor)

Wolfgang Mitterer, turntables
Freiburger Barockorchester
Lucas Vis (conductor)
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Experimentalstudio für akustische Kunst, Freiburg
Reinhold Braig/Joachim Haas (sound directors)

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Review by John Broggio - May 5, 2008

This third instalment from Donaueschinger is a wonderful disc. Combining world class period performers with a contemporary music ensemble, DJ and electro-acoustic artists is a fascinating idea that is seldom attempted with such radical ideas or played with such verve. The period performers are already represented on SACD and have provided many listeners with outstanding Classical recordings under René Jacobs and they play with equal strength of conviction here.

The largest work on the disc is Martin Smolka's Semplice. The first movement certainly lives up to the implied characteristics, with a kaleidoscope of sound that alternates from old to modern and back again in a calm way. The second movement is anything but calm and is far more complicated from a rhythmical perspective where the two competing ideas gradually become more and more out of synchronisation so that they become as one - a wonderful optical effect written out for our ears! Calm returns once more in the third movement for the first third before the modern instruments wrest control of the peaceful mood. Again, the even numbered movement brings more impassioned music from Smolka - the microtonality is the predominate "simple" relationship explored here and to great effect. Played attacca, the fifth movement has moments of impassioned brutality breaking through the tense string figurations. The sixth, re-caps the previous arguments to bring the whole work to pleasing conclusion.

The opening of Wolfgang Mitterer’s “inwendig losgelost”, gives little clue as to the fun and games that is bought to bear on Telemann’s Water Music in the second and subsequent movements – it truly has to be heard to be believed! Throughout, taped music of the HIP orchestra is toyed with by the electro-acoustic musicians and DJ as well as being superimposed with an “electric harpsichord” and other effects from the contemporary group – electrifying stuff in the main. [As a side note, it would be marvellous on the evidence of this disc to have the Freiburger’s playing Telemann in unadulterated pieces!]

There are no qualms about the recording itself although it does feel on occasion as though not enough people followed Smolka's advice to find a comfortable seat! In the Mitterer, the extensive use of taped music relayed by stereo speakers in the hall, vividly highlights to anyone using a MCH set-up why stereo recordings are a only a mediocre approximation of acoustic music – the sound stage is very flat until those present on stage interject.

Arguably this disc is the strongest release in the series.

Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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