TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): The Raven.
Catalogue Number: 04S073
Description: Hosokawa sets Poe's famous poem as a monodrama, pointing up its similarities to Japanese Noh plays, in which spirits in the form of animals are frequently characters. Poe's inventive, alliterative use of language already makes a music of its own, so all that is required of the composer is to surround the text in ominous, brooding atmospheric scene-setting, which is thoroughly accomplished here. The piece begins with gentle, sinister sounds - key slaps, breath sounds, pitchless whispering - conjuring the gloom and foreboding of the poem, but increasingly gives way to the sudden intrusion of expressionistic outbursts which grow in intensity as the poem's tension and supernatural terrors crescendo in their own right. The soloist starts by intoning the text like a somber recitation, but gradually moves into full-blown Erwartung mode as the piece progresses. Charlotte Hellekant (mezzo), United Instruments of Lucilin; Kentaro Kawase.