on 8 June 2008
It must be said that this is a profoundly moving, cathartic, satisfying piece of work, executed beautifully in terms of orchestration, the contributions of Mantler himself on trumpet, Jack Bruce, Marianne Faithfull and Robert Wyatt's vocals and the soaring electric guitar of Rick Fenn. The 'movements', all settings of poems by Beckett, Meister and Soupault in French, English and German, are fragmentary, but they piece together like a sequence of thoughts or reflections, merging across the course of the piece into an extremely consistent statement. Expressionistic, intelligent, intense are all words that could describe it. The personal musical vision and distinctive harmonic language Michael Mantler had developed by this point makes him a master musician and this is a supreme work of art which should be given exposure to many more listeners than I suspect have thus experienced it.