Nuun; Presto con fuoco; still; Poemas
Klangforum Wien/Sylvain Cambreling & Peter Eotvos (conductors)/ Marino
Formenti & Florian Muller (piano)/ Eva Furrer (flute)/ Elisabeth Lawrence
Kairos 0012062KAI [52.02]
Beat Furrer (b. 1954) is the founder of the excellent Klangforum
Wien ensemble, which operates as a 'democratic forum' of new music soloists.
I do not recall his music having been played in UK, and it is regrettable
that his name is unfamiliar this side of the Channel.
This CD is a 52 minute roller-coaster of exciting, unsettling music, often
punctuated by 'noise' over fast-moving rhythmic structures. Nuun (1996)
for two pianos and orchestra begins with an 'almost impenetrable wealth of
events' which are gradually 'filtered out'. still (1998) evokes the
hum of a circular saw, whose energy unloads in noise 'only when the saw meets
resistance'. It sinks back at the end into 'latent calm'.
Furrer's instrumental vocabulary is full of metallic sounds evoking non-musical
'noise' which becomes, in context, evocative and even beautiful. His presto
con fuoco ((1997), for flute and piano, has the two instruments apparently
going their separate ways, with 'extended' sounds, reaching mutual understanding
and 'normal' flute sound, increasing acceleration finally dissolving into
'glacial petrifaction', with fast runs filtered out until there are only
occasion sounds, like 'specks of light in the night'.
The earliest work given here is Poemas (1984). The English singer,
Elisabeth Laurence is accompanied by the fragile, etiolated textures of guitar,
piano and marimba, the instruments alone in the fifth part. There is a German
translation of the evocative short texts by Neruda, but no English version.
The performances all sound totally assured and give confidence that the music
has been fully assimilated by the musicians before entrusting it to disc;
Beat Furrer supervised the recording of Poemas and no doubt was present
for the others too. I have played this CD through several times and find
its fascination endures with repetition.
The Kairos 99 / 00 series is well worth investigating for its interesting
repertoire and excellent presentation.
Peter Grahame Woolf