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Liberation of sound,
This review is from: Varese: Orchestral Works (Audio CD)
Here are most of Varese's attempts at liberating sound, mainly from the 1920s and 30s. There is the vast orchestra solution of Ameriques and Arcana with suggestions of Stravinsky amongst others. At the other end there is the purity of solo flute tone raised by Philippe Pierlot in Density 21.5 (platinum). Octandre offers eight instruments flute,clarinet, oboe, bassoon, horn,trumpet,trombone and double bass, while Ionisation has a massive percussion ensemble- the instruments being played by 13 percussionists. In that context I personally love the lion's roar and the high and low sirens.
The two songs of Offrandes are well realised by Phyllis Bryn-Julson.
Ecuatorial contains the words of a prayer set for bass singer. Organ and ondes martenot contribute to the mix.In the vocal writing are quarter tones, humming and shouting. Déserts (1954) is a Varèse masterpiece. This work consists of four parts, called "episodes", where common instruments (fourteen winds, piano and five percussions) play, and three moments (the "interpolations") where only a recorded tape of factory and percussive sounds is playing.
Finally there is Nocturnal (1961) scored for soprano soloist, bass choir and orchestra - a setting of Anais Nin's poem 'The House of Incest.' This work was completed by Chou Wen-chung. The musicians of Orchestre National de France are ably led by Kent Nagano. This music is not an easy listen but is thoroughly liberating when entered freely.....