Archive for the Now Playing Category
“…one night in the fall Willie came into the shop late when the recording machine was set up. Rhodes got him a bottle of corn whiskey and persuaded him to sit down in front of the microphone. Willie hesitated for a moment, then touched the strings of the guitar, saying ‘Now I ain’t in no hurry. Not if you ain’t.’ When he’d finished singing the bottle was empty and he slowly made his way home.”
I acquired this strange and beautiful disc a few days ago and after several listenings it has become a favourite. I don’t have the liner notes, and know nothing about Ancient Greek musical systems, so I am very curious as to how these compositions were reconstructed. Male and female voices, plucked strings, flutes, shawms and percussion evoke atmospheres of esoteric ritual and bardic declamation with hints of Asiatic influence and the occasional ecstatic outburst. This is a unique and very enjoyable recording.
I’ve been an ardent admirer of György Kurtág for many years but had never heard anything quite like the intensely dramatic and colourful song cycle Scenes from a Novel. Many thanks to the excellent contemporary music blog 5:4 for sharing this wonderful work.