Other Stories (CD)
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The Trio Accanto’s unconventional instrumentation of saxophone, piano, and percussion fascinates composers and inspires them to look beyond their usual musical horizons. This is confirmed by the collection of pieces on this recording, which documents the ensemble’s challenging yet accessible repertoire. Helmut Lachenmann describes his “Marche fatale” as a kind of musical “derailment”. It is a highly virtuoso and brilliantly constructed march in which the master of unconventional playing techniques and noise-like instrumental sounds surprises listeners with his mastery of major/minor tonality, something still shunned in certain avant-garde circles. Lachenmann’s “Sakura-Variationen” [Cherry Blossom Variations], on the other hand, are anything but noise-like. These melodic postmodern collages appear in three different versions on this release. Works by four other composers are also included in this collection. Martin Schüttler’s “xerox” plays with the “trashy” aesthetic of our everyday electronic environment, presenting glittering metallic sounds that turn out to be the noises of a copy machine. “In Between” by Yu Kawabara offers an abstract scenario of contrasting sound characters and gliding wave motions. Martin Smolka’s “fff (Fortissimo feroce Fittipaldi)” is short, wild, and extreme: it depicts a Formula One race with legendary Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi. Michael Finnissy’s “Opera of the Nobility” has a clear, symmetrical architecture. With original material as well as quotations from works performed by the historical London opera company of the same name, Finnissy creates a web of relationships where there is no separation between history and the present tense, the private and political spheres, or the music’s inner life and extra-musical reality.