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.
Archive for Now Playing
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.
Well, the 15th anyway, a magnificently full-blooded, colourful and intense reading of Shostakovich’s most enigmatic symphony that makes sense of the work and shows the old-school Soviet orchestra at its best.
Today on Radio 3 I heard the Hollywood String Quartet’s recording of Verklärte Nacht and found it more magical and sublime than I had remembered. I can’t recommend it highly enough.