clarinet; Moijca Erdmann, soprano; Axel Bauni, piano; WDR Symphony Orchestra
Cologne, Peter Rundel, conductor.
This set of compositions
for clarinet stars Jörg Widmann, also a composer.
a clarinet concerto. It begins with a yearning clarinet solo. Other instruments
and string strokes pop up like new sprouts in spring. I disagree with the liner-writer
who hears death in this concerto, and as an aspect of Reimann's music in general.
There is some playing inside of the piano, and playing around by the instruments:
hide-and-go-seek and ring-around-the-rosy. Groups chasing soloists and other
groups. Conductor Peter Rundel is perhaps best known to our readers for his
work on Nono's Prometeo (EMI) and Heiner Goebbel's Surrogate Cities
four poems by Heinrich Heine, but this is not your Schumann or Schubert lied.
It's more in the vein of Berio (no, not the Folk Song Arrangements) and Henze.
I haven't looked up the texts and translations, neither provided in the booklet.
Reimann uses repetitive phrases, some lines spoken imperatively or accusingly,
whispers. Intricate melismas. Soprano Mojca Erdman navigates these with ease,
and they are striking.
Solo is a worthy
nine-minute exploration of terrain rather than time or timbre, despite a moment
of multiphonic honking.
sombra is a trio for soprano, clarinet and piano with a text from Rückert
and Porchia. It runs seventeen minutes, the piano sounds like a harpsichord,
and is the only work here that doesn't touch me.
The disc closes
with Arietta, a lovely, five-minute piece for solo basettclarinet (which
at first I misread as bass clarinet; the notes say nothing about this instrument.)
I have to remark,
without complaint, on the hilarity of the English translation of the liner notes,
not to mention the typos and misspellings, but the ideas do come through. Most
of which I find a vain attempt to prove the writer's premise that Reimann's
themes (for this disc, specifically) are "breath, love, songs, and facing
death." That this could be said of nearly anything doesn't help.