BERNARD FOCCROULLE (b.1953): Am Rande der Nacht II for Soprano and Orchestra (Melanie Diener [soprano], Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège; Jean Deroyer), Wer du auch seist for Soprano and Piano Trio (Sophie Karthäuser [soprano], Tatiana Samouil [violin], Justus Grimm [cello], Nicolas Stavy [piano, crotales]), Wie ein Wort das noch im schweigen reift... for Solo Cello (Grimm), Ich soll silbern erzittern for Alto Flute (Carlos Bruneel).
Catalogue Number: 01P080
Description: These pieces are all linked, as part of the composer's project to explore a group of poems by Rilke, that most musical of poets, in various musical guises. The orchestral cycle sets six poems, beginning with the strange nocturnal fantasia which gives the cycle its title. Scored for large orchestra, the cycle begins tentatively, with instrumental solos and an amorphous, hazy texture of indefinite tonality, after the soloist enters. As the cycle progresses, the sense of tonality increases, from the highly chromatic, almost atonal first to definite key centers in the last three; in its harmonic language and rich orchestration, the listener will be reminded of Gurrelieder, and the late flowering of fin de ciècle high Romanticism. The orchestra is employed with the utmost sensitivity, in a painterly interplay of rich colors, permitting the voice to emerge vividly in its eloquent presentation of the texts. The two instrumental solos elaborate lines from the orchestral cycle in highly virtuosic commentaries, employing a wide and inventive array of technical devices, including some extended techniques. The chamber cycle adapts four of the same songs in the orchestral work, with the vocal part little altered, and the orchestration reduced to its essence through some remarkably subtle instrumental devices and touches of color. German-English texts.