Shame on you for reading this review instead of buying this cd the day it came out.
I feel a review is almost superfluous, since any self respecting fan of the Composer's Music will already KNOW they can't go on any longer without hearing this Brand New, and only real new Xenakis disc of 2011 (what am I missing?).
First off, I will spare you and give you the BOTTOM LINE: Arne Deforce's playing will generally melt away comparisons, and the recording is absolutely spectacular. Nomos Alpha, sincerely, has never sounded as good as it does here: on top of superlative playing, the recording sumptuously places the listener right between the strings, bringing out nuances of the playing that other recordings have previously only hinted at. I won't take away from some of the other performances, and I haven't fully done my compares (though, Deforce totally out ranks Strauch in Nomos Alpha), but Deforce is...ahem...a force to be reckoned with.
Kottos, too, receives a wondrous performance (only the fourth recording to date, I believe (de Saram I, de Saram II, Monighetti)). And I do believe this is the very best recording of Charisma ever: the recording brings out sounds that no other recording has even come close to (I like the one with Palm over the one with Strauch). I used to roll my eyes over this piece,... now I've seen the light: Charisma is... a Masterpiece!
The chamber concerto Epicycles clocks in at a much slower pace than either the disastrous Vandenburg release (with Dan Barrett admirably playing the solo part), de Saram on Bvhaast. The slower tempo is ever so slightly off putting, when one hears the logic of the other two's quicker clip, but, in the end, Deforce argues for us to just LISTEN to the timbre, the timelessness. Though I really like the de Saram performance, and the actual performance on Vandenburg is pretty good (this cd has some of the worst sound ever,... as I'm sure you all know!), this new recording of Epicycles is certainly light years ahead of both, and Deforce argues his case convincingly in the end. You will like it.
The astonishing duos, Hunem-Iduhey and Roscobeck, are given yeoman readings, totally supplanting the serviceable Angel recording ('Compassion') in the former, and definitely improving on a good performance in the latter (Simax). These two pieces, along with their companion Paille in the Wind, are astoundingly dissonant and totally primal, yet totally Modern, at the same time. I have disparaged in the past the path of Late Xenakis (I am warming up to Dox-Orkh after 15 years!), but, when you listen objectively, these pieces are shockingly original, and their bracing harmonies are truly fresh.
This leaves one of the few surviving 'early works', Dhipli Zyia, a violin and cello duo that would surely be a hit on a recital featuring Skalkottas, Honegger, Martinu, and Ravel. I was quite taken by X's Greek-meets-Bartok roots.
So, to summarize: Buy It Now! It is certainly the best recording of Xenakis Chamber Music... ever!,... and contains playing of a new standard for the pieces in question. Though I was initially disappointed in yet another cd of many of the same pieces that we have elsewhere (when crucial Xenakis is left unrecorded), I can now safely give this cd my Highest Xenakis Recommendation,... and I could go on and on about it for a while, so, I'll stop here.