OLGA NEUWIRTH (b.1968): …miramondo multiplo…. for Trumpet and Orchestra (Håkan Hardenberger [trumpet], Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra; Ingo Metzmacher), Remnants of Songs … An Amphigory for Viola and Orchestra (Antoine Tamestit [viola], ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Susanna Mälkki), Clocks without Hands for Orchestra (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Daniel Harding).

Catalogue Number: 11V068

Label: Kairos

Reference: 0015010KAI

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Three major works, characteristically complex both musically and psychologically, by this fascinatingly multifaceted composer. Neuwirth excels at vivid, non-linear storytelling; these pieces draw on multiple allusions, references and quotations from many musical styles, historical periods and extramusical associations that jostle and collide in often disturbing dreamscapes. Masaot / Clocks without Hands is a vast orchestral landscape, teeming with detail. The work is the "polyphonic song of my fractured origin", referring to the composer’s multi-ethnic origins from up and down the Danube, which seems to flow through and connect the music's diverse scenes. Within the inexorable flow of the music - which seem more magmatic than aquatic at times, such is the power of Neuwirth's orchestral textures, and which also symbolize the passage of time, made explicit by the presence of metronomes running at different speeds at key moments - are embedded fragments of Eastern European Jewish music from different national traditions as well as Mahlerian excerpts from the Austrian-Hungarian-Bohemian orchestral repertoire. The work is a compelling, at times overwhelming, journey through landscape and history. The title of the trumpet concerto suggests a multiplicity of ways of looking at the world, which reminds us that this is the composer who made a highly effective opera out of David Lynch's nightmarish, time- and identity-fluid film 'Lost Highway' (04I103). Neuwirth's music tends toward the confrontational, though this piece is less about a confrontation between soloist and orchestra than the two combining forces to confront the listener with a kaleidoscopic vision made up of sometimes decidedly uncomfortable atmospheres, memories, or impressions. References to other music are to be found throughout; Handel in the first and fourth movement; 'Send in the Clowns' in the second, saturated with the atmosphere of jazz and the distinctive playing style of Miles Davis, as well as her own works (including ‘Lost Highway’). The five-movement Amphigory, here implying an irrational poem full of non-sequiturs which hides profound and serious thoughts, explores themes of loneliness, fantasy, and - as the movements become progressively darker and more haunted - "wandering, searching, the sense of being lost, trauma and death” in the words of the composer. Written in the same polyglot style as the other works here, the work draws on the Russian folk tale of Sadko, Bach, Schubert, and a popular song to tell its tales, against an imposing backdrop of neo-Romantic grandeur (Celan's vision of Nietszche conceiving Also Sprach Zarathustra in the mountains is especially impressive), finally ending with a huge, grotesque danse macabre.

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