BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): Finis terrae (w/EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, Emilio Pomàrico [conductor]), KLAUS LANG (b.1971): The Ocean of Yes and No (Jean Deroyer [conductor]), CAROLA BAUCKHOLT (b.1957): Schlammflocke (Enno Poppe [conductor]), JORGE E. LÓPEZ (b.1955): Gonzales the Earth Eater (Christine Chapman [horn], Marcus Creed [conductor]) (All World Premiere Recordings).

Catalogue Number: 02S094

Label: Wergo

Reference: WER 6864 2

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Ferneyhough's Finis terrae refers to the alien moraine-landscape of Land's End, the westernmost tip of Cornwall in England. Characteristically complex, this is a texture-piece of musical rubble and abrupt, jutting mineral formations with a fragmentary text consisting of shards of geological description. Dense as granite, similarly full of complex, interlocking crystal fragments, this is inorganic, inhospitable music. Lang's piece is a kind of philosophical meditation in music, not seeking to represent anything, but to contemplate a state of being, an idea borrowed from Zen Buddhism. Very slow, microtonal planes of sound shift, ebb and flow in a sonorous fog, once interrupted by brief, random patterings of strings and harpsichord like momentary showers of raindrops. This metaphorical ocean is eternally becalmed, of unimaginable depth, and subject only to contemplation, not elucidation or rational explanation. Bauckholt's piece has the off-putting title 'Sludge Floc' - a settling mass of fine particles descending out of a liquid. However, the music has less to do with sediments and micro-organisms than larger-scale fauna; a wide variety of highly inventive extended techniques is employed throughout to represent a cacophonous jungle bestiary of birds, frogs, reptiles and every manner of wild beast, in primal, pre-civilization nature. The effect is uncannily unnerving, like being stranded in the midst of untamed nature; performance directions like 'improvised monkey panic' (you won't mistake it when you get there) give some idea of the organic pre-humanity of this extraordinary piece. López' unsettling, confrontational piece takes its title from a psychedelic nightmare sequence in William S. Burroughs' novel 'The Soft Machine': "Some of them are already dead. We try to bury them on time, even if they retain intact protest reflex. Like Gonzalez the Earth Eater. We bury him three times... Always he eat way out." The music is fragmented, episodic and effortful, as though, like the mythical Gonzales it is desperately trying to deny its own mortality and decay. Ensemble Musikfabrik.

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