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Customer Review

on 30 March 2004
This is 'the' Desert Island Disc. Luckily I bought this CD never having heard of the composer but solely because I was intrigued by the title 'Suicide in an Airplane'. Quite simply the best CD on the market. Since first listening to it almost a year ago I have never been able to listen to Chopin, Scriabin, Debussy, or Liszt again. For me it represents the pinnacle of classical music, Suicide in and Airplane has all the pathos of Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, all the dynamism of Liszt's Pieces sur un theme transcendante, but is a lot more easily listened to, it is darkly mesmerising. Dance Sauvage is also a masterpiece as is A la chinoise. The best piece however is Chant of Hindoo priests part of the Arabesques. The only piece I can think to compare it to is Carl Ruggles' Suntreader which is similarly brilliant. The music is again intensely absorbing the only way I can think to describe it is controlled wrecklessness (as odd as that sounds). A week after listening to the Chant it kept streaming back into my mind during lectures and completely destroyed my concentration. Ornstein achieves a miracle in these pieces, he creates listenable Avant-Garde music. You won't ever want to stop listening to this CD, you won't ever want to leave your seat after it finishes. Through the looking glass music indeed! (probably the best money I ever spent - though there was the cinema ticket for Alain Resnais' Last Year in Marienbad).
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