Donnerstag, 28. April 2016

Ensemble Modern / Heiner Goebbels - Black On White

Heiner Goebbels's music-theatre work "Black on White" was put together during several months of rehearsal with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt's Theater am Turm in 1996. Its flickering, erratic musical surface combines elements of composed music, improvisation, musique concrete and spoken text, reflecting the composer's previous work as an improviser and theatre director.

"Black on White," a masterful if sometimes frustrating concoction of chaos and discipline, was built around the astonishingly flexible Ensemble Modern, whose members play in constant motion. They wind through a stage full of debris, set up a triumphant arch made of ladders, take up their horns and march in formation across a phalanx of benches. When a proscenium arch is sent keeling to the ground, nobody flinches.

The backbone of this motley score is jazz, all kinds of jazz: the jagged, glassy rhythms of be-bop, the baroque frenzy of Ornette Coleman, the stately quiver of a New Orleans funeral. But Goebbels drapes a great many other sources on that solid frame. In one especially haunting episode, the plaintive sound of a Jewish cantor recorded in the 1920s floats above an accompaniment of hard-edged chords.

"Black on White is also an affectionate and curiously moving tribute to the German playwright Heiner Muller, whose taped voice is to be found reading parts of Edgar Allan Poe's parable, Shadow, at various points in the piece. Ensemble Modern are not only called on to speak and sing while playing their normal instruments, but to form impromptu ensembles of saxophones and brass instruments and what sounds like a group of toy violins in the eerie coda. Other sonic delights include a toccata for teapot and piccolo, a gargantuan fantasy for sine tone and didjeridu, and a surreal concert aria for six sampled Jewish cantors and a contrabass clarinet.
You may have guessed by now that I enjoyed listening to this CD. It is true that the recorded sound can be a little dry in places and there were times when I missed the visual element of the musictheatre piece in performance. Nevertheless, Black on White is a powerful and imaginative statement, humorous and intense in equal measure. Great credit is due to Ensemble Modern, Südwestfunk and RCA themselves." -  Martyn Harry
(192 kbps, front cover included)

2 Kommentare:

-Otto- hat gesagt…

Thank you, zero!

zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome!

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