KARL AAGE RASMUSSEN (b.1947): The Four Seasons After Vivaldi, Follia, folio …, OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Gli uccelli.

Catalogue Number: 09V058

Label: Dacapo

Reference: 8.226220

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: If you’re a fan of unusual approaches to the art of transcription, you will want this. If you regard such things as sacrilege, you won't. In his introductory essay he makes many valid points about the way 21st century ears hear familiar works versus the way they sounded to an 18th century audience; differences in performance practice such that every new interpretation is in effect a transcription, and so on. His response to this conundrum is to present Vivaldi's concerti with the notes substantially intact (though often added to, rearranged or grouped according to new repeating rhythms) and played by conventional forces, but as it were superimposing them on a rhythmic Procrustean bed of syncopated accents and metrical changes which sound quite shocking - and undeniably modern - the first time you hear them, at least. The resulting re-composition (booklet note writer, please observe that 'de-composition', even when hyphenated, carries connotations that you probably did not intend) emphasises the startling sound effects that Vivaldi wrote into the work, so that the summer storm, for instance, thunders like Beethoven's and approaches Richard Strauss's while preserving the Baroque palimpsest intact, and restores the rhythmic drive that, while not at all lacking in the original is now over-familiar to ears accustomed to minimalism, rock and the complex cross-rhythms of contemporary music. Rasmussen's piece is his take on La folia, full of the same kind of jittery rhythmic distortions and melodic malleability as his transcriptions, hugely entertaining and appropriately batty and thus effortlessly joining a distinguished tradition. The Respighi is taken back to its Baroque roots, in a process that Rasmussen aptly likens to "a word that is translated into a different language and then retranslated can completely change its semantic content and significance". Concerto Copenhagen; Magnus Fryklund, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Respighi).


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