Martin Smolka

Martin Smolka - Semplice (2006) 43:43 PREMIERE
Wolfgang Mitterer - inwendig losgelöst 22:39

ensemble recherche
Freiburger Barockorchester
Lucas Vis - conductor

Donaueschinger Musiktage 2006, Vol. 3
Label: Neos


Review by Polly Nomial

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.       Copyright (C) 2008