Trythall, virtuoso pianist, specialist in contemporary piano music and in the music of composers such as Charles Ives and Jelly Roll Morton, presents a work which was composed over the course of several years. His language, characterized by an extremely intense expressivity, fuses aspects of American culture - some of which are connected to Jazz - with elements of heterogeneous character ranging from sounds typical of the timbral research of twentieth century experimental music to backward glances towards melodic schemes rooted in the popular musical tradition. The result of this union is a very personal sound world of extreme fascination.
This large work for clarinet, violin, 'cello and piano testifies to the fact that music's spirituality can offer a ray of hope even in the darkest moments in which an artist, a human being, may find him or herself. In fact, the conception of this work is strongly marked by the fact that Messiaen had experienced the reality of the concentration camp. It is extremely interesting to hear the performance of this work by young yet already important musicians who, fortunately, have never known such a devastating reality, yet have been capable of infusing this music with expressivity - an expressivity which makes every rhythmic pulsation, every harmonic potential, totally effective - and confirms that works such as this, having no borders nor restrictions, can enter into the most varied and distant existential dimensions.
Many important composers have expressed their enthusiastic appreciation of Roberto Fabbriciani - from Cage to Nono.
The recital which Fabbriciani gave in Sogna exploited a variety of performing spaces - indoors and outdoors - within the village and was, in certain aspects, absolutely unrepeatable. A recording can not fully reproduce this effect, but the concert remains vividly impressed in the memories of those who were present.
The lengthy recital program exhibits the flute in a wide variety of roles demonstrating its enormous potential and eliciting marvel for the wealth of the results obtained by this formidable performer during a "live" concert.
For Drouet, improvisation offers a true scenic space for musical theatre. With a capacity not easily described, he guides us through an itinerary which unites game play with commitment to a research for new sounds creating sonic realities in which the percussive origins give source to unexpected and fascinating sounds. In the CD recorded in Sogna, Drouet proposes compositions, particularly those of his friend Globokar, which have never before been recorded.
Bruno Canino is the most important Italian pianist of his generation. His tireless activity - as soloist and in the company of internationally famous concert artists - has carried him throughout the world. His repertoire is without limits and unites the traditional pianistic literature with numerous first performances of new works which, in many case, have been dedicated to him. In the concert held in Sogna, in fact, the choice of a program which alternates "classic" music by Cage with young composers such as Sollima and Di Bari is particularly significant.
A leading member of the avant-garde musical panorama during the 1960's, Globokar unites his role as a world class trombonist with a vast compositional output. In his works, the performing gesture is joined intimately with sonic research - both in the act of improvisation and in the act of composition where his complex sonoral architecture has allowed him to create important symphonic works of vast scope. The original material in this CD, derived from recordings realized in Köln in the late years of the '70's and in Sogna (two improvisation together with Jean-Pierre Drouet), provides a faithful mirror of the artistic climate of those years as well as of the compositional concerns dear to Globokar.
The case of David Moss is unique. This extraordinary vocalist has a range which goes from bass through high soprano, a powerful voice and a perfectly calibrated intonation. These characteristics make him an exceptional performer who, during his performances, uses extremely advanced computer systems (controlled by his ability as a trained percussionist) to expand his vocal possibilities into a mixed media event (micro-theater) which creates an incredible impression on the audience. Although the visual aspect of this performance is, of necessity, lost on a CD, these are nonetheless compositions of sensational artistic value. All of the pieces are first recordings and "Pantanal" was written expressly for Atopos.
This valuable recording documents the exceptional meeting of Bussotti, Cardini, Chiari and Lombardi. Together for the first time, these four composer-pianists are the protagonists of "Florentine Art Music" - an important phenomenon in the history of the second half of the 20th century. This live concert recording (made October 26, 1999 in the "Buonumore Hall" of Florence's "L. Cherubini" Conservatory) illustrates their varied approaches towards an experimentation which embodies Sound, Sign, Gesture and Vision in a singular dimension. All of the works were receiving their first performance.
More than 50 years of musical culture have taken place in Florence since the end of World War 2. This should be systematically explored. Besides the celebrations, it is time to acknowledge that, during the 1960’s, Florence produced a “Musica d’Arte” which could retrieve perception, memory, action and performance, through a dramatic meta-language exalting the potential of emotion and atmosphere through the confrontation triggered by individual experiences, opening the way to discoveries of new creative and poetical horizons. The confrontation and dialogue with several of the historical avant-garde’s most profound sources regarding synesthesia - from Kandinsky to futurism, from Scriabin to Schoenberg and the Bauhaus - was to bring the Florentine approach to maturity. In addition to audible forms for listening, the interaction between gesture, sound and vision became sign, making music utopia.
. . . "soli" is expanding the presumed limits of an instrument with the help of a personal musical language is central to my approach to the instrument. The focal point is the playful method of improvising with this vocabulary. The performing techniques (circular breathing, simultaneous singing and playing, key tapping rhythms, extremely fast passages which evoke a quasi polyphony, enharmonic changes, multiphonics, double tonguing, overblowing...) permit the creation of acoustical phenomena which, as with an illusionist, suggest other levels.... This occurs here without the aid of electronic devices or overdubs.
John Tilbury has given concerts and broadcasts of new music, including first performances, in many countries around the world. His solo recordings include Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, from the seventies, and more recently the music of Cornelius Cardew, Howard Skempton, Christian Wolff and the complete solo piano works of Morton Feldman. He is also well known as an improvising musician, through his membership of AMM, one of the most distinguished and influential free improvisation groups to have emerged in the sixties.
Teodoro Anzellotti was born at Candela in Puglia, but grew up near Baden-Baden and studied at the conservatories of Karlsruhe and Trossingen under Jürgen Habermann and Hugo Noth. Teodoro Anzellotti is the winner of numerous international accordion competitions. He has performed as a soloist at important festivals (Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Donaueschingen, Florence, Milan, Los Angeles, London, Lucerne, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, Salzburg, Seoul, Venice, Vienna, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw, Zurich) and has worked with numerous orchestras (Kölner-Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg, SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, NDR Orchester Hamburg, Dresdner Philharmonie, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, ORF Orchester Wien, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Ljublijana). Teodoro Anzellotti is one of the leading accordionists on the international scene. His name is closely linked with the revival of the accordion from the nineteen-eighties on.
Endangered Species is a space, a container which holds my sound archive in little vials of distilled essences. An archive of distillations culled from years of listening to everything from the mumbled sounds in dreams to threatening roars of nature gone mad, from the near absolute stillness of an Italian Ferragosto to the din accompanying a Balinese funeral, Cicadas having sex to mating Bisons, human howling wolfmen, broken fog-horns, Meuzzin calling from Mosques. Having collected these for over 40 years, they now reappear as elemental bits of digital samples – ordered and layered by the 10’s, 100’s and 1000’s as a giant world-instrument which – mapped to an ordinary 88 key Midi keyboard in numerous groups – enables me, like a living musical instrument, to spontaneously play the entire world from my fingertips, recreating and reconfiguring new worlds from moment to moment, day to day occasion to occasion at each act of performance, each Act of Providence, each act of plowing and turning the soil.
Pietro Grossi was trained as a violoncellist and composer. The present opportunity offers us the chance to listen to his early instrumental works and to consider the exemplary coherence which characterized his development throughout the following years. His interest was in the sound’s vibration in time, a horizontal idea of the use of sound which concentrates our attention at times on simple resonances, at times on sine waves, in the search for sound histograms which, most likely, came from his experience as a violoncellist. In fact, he had a constant tension towards perfect intonation – also in the use of microtones – and a full vibrato in the production of the sound. His rapport with the violoncello tended towards a new objectivity which makes one think of Alfredo Casella, certainly not of the long romantic season during which the instrument was compared to the vox umana.
In this journey, Sequenza II by Luciano Berio is a true milestone. It is part of a larger project by the composer (fourteen Sequenze), who wanted to explore and investigate “the measures beyond the measures” in each instrument, in an instrumental theater where one must “renounce the ambiguous category of ‘poetics’,” as well as the expectation of that “ language of other old emotions that time has linked to poetry.” Each Sequenza represents a sort of “witness” to historical virtuosity and at the same time a stimulus for progress towards a new form of virtuosity through extreme exploration and experimentation of the technical possibilities of the individual instruments. In Sequenza for harp, traditional sound idioms are juxtaposed with more exasperated sounds involving desecrating “gestures” that require “tearing “ at the strings, using the wooden parts and tail piece for percussion, the paroxysmal use of pedals and making noises by banging the metal strings.
My first encounter with Stockhausen’s music was through a record I heard during the sixties. The pieces that so completely enmeshed me were entitled "Refrain" and "Kontakte". This was music the likes of which I had never heard before. Shortly after this, a record was released with the piece "Klavierstück X" (piece for piano), played by Frederic Rzewski in a way that was unrivaled. Once I had heard this piece as well, I wanted to play the "Klavierstück X". In the seventies, when I felt that I was ready, thanks to having studied Schönberg’s works, I began to work on "Klavierstücke" by Stockhausen. First I studied the IX, then the X and XI - and also "Kontakte" for electronic sound, piano and drums. But I was already so eager to play all the works by this composer, works that use my instrument in solo pieces or in an ensemble. So in the early eighties, I added "Klavierstücke I - VIII" to my repertoire.
A fundamental aspect of Cage’s concept of music, from the form to the event, was randomness, improvisation, movable structure, impromptu choices by the performer, more or less guided by schemes that often are only indications of time segments, an extreme act of interactive decision-making between composer and performer. Variations IV, the last composition on the programme, is an example of this practice, and in this case the "happening" is guided by various instructions. The version presented in this concert uses piano, a female vocalist, a percussionist and a young improviser at the toy piano, all of whom interact with ambient sounds recorded in Florence.
Appreciating For Philip Guston requires a totally different idea of the passing of time. It is a lengthy piece and calls for an approach to the listening experience which is quite diverse from that of a more conventional piece of music. It immediately recalls lengthier works composed in the 1930s - such as Kaikhosru Shapuri Sorabji’s Opus Clavicembalisticum or his Symphonic Variations for Piano (nine hours listening time …) for instance - or the more recent Road by Frederic Rzewski. For Philip Guston, however, does not present us with the casual sound of life. It unfurls delightful, delicate filigrees that waft in and fade: sustained seduction, quivers of emotion that may recall Schubert’s “heavenly length” with regard to the need for detailed yet patient listening.
The first CD of this double album contains a series of compositions in which percussion is the protagonist. I was very surprised to see how Gubaidulina dealt with them, layering a complex fabric of up to seven different sets and how she then achieved unprecedented results, daring to put these sound sources together with other instruments like the organ. But this union is also the other theme of the CD, which, apart from two short piano pieces, has an original chamber music dimension, a mix of sounds that is the result of all these different elements that I described above. It is truly a new music that strikes us for the clarity of its syntactic thought and a continuous elegance of writing that has a very profound communicative value, written by a composer who will remain in the history of these decades as someone who lead the evolution of music research, the author of some true masterpieces.
Like nature, Feldman's music has an indestructible quality, for all its surface fragility. As a personality Feldman was abrasive but brittle; he could be insensitive to the feelings of others but one sensed in him a vulnerability. "The real for me is how I can leap into this thing which I call life. Music must have sensuous dimension", he once said.
The sensuality of touching the instrument. Often, before I start playing the piano I gently caress the instrument. Comparable to love-making, you approach your lover with a degree of trepidation; there is no clear objective. Then, the first touch.
Osterfestival Tirol (Galerie St. Barbara)
This festival was founded in 1989 in Hall in Tyrol and Innsbruck. It is part the Galerie St. Barbara (association existing since 1968) that since it's beginnings focuses on contemporary art forms and expressions. The link and relation between the different arts is the main topic of the festival: from music (ancient, contemporary, classical non-european) to art, from dance and performance to theatre,... During the years, Hall in Tyrol has become – due to this private institution – a meeting point for Avantgarde and a centre for contemporary thoughts with a high international value. Private friendships arose from this work and invitations to composers like György Ligeti, John Cage, Dieter Schnebel, Christian Wolff, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Conlon Nancarrow, Georg Fr. Haas and many more. Since the contact with John Tilbury – one of the most important interpreters for Feldman's music – in the 70s, the festival and the association is dedicated to the music of Morton Feldman and has produced the CD "All piano" with Feldman's complete solo piano works, interpreted by John Tilbury.