MARTIN CHRISTOPH REDEL (b.1947): Bruckner-Essay, Op. 31 (NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover; Michel Tabachnik), Shadow Lines for Piano Trio, Op. 53 (Ulf Schneider [violin], Martin Löhr [cello], Eckart Heiligers [piano]), In Secret, Night Thoughts for Female Voice, Op. 77 (Nicole Pieper [mezzo] - German texts), Captured Moments, Mirror Fantasy for Piano, Op. 82 (Heidrun Holtmann [piano]), Chiaroscuro, Passages for Organ, Op. 97 (Friedhelm Flamme [organ]), Night Piece for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 96 (Felix Brucklacher [clarinet], Hiroko Arimoto [piano]).

Catalogue Number: 01X054

Label: Genuin

Reference: GEN 22760

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: A contemporary composer with a concern for connection with his audience - he writes of his work as "music for listeners" - Redel achievement this aim by dovetailing traditional elements, be they tonal harmonies, structures and forms, or even melody! into his compositions. Bruckner-essay, a most impressive large scale symphonic poem of sorts, while tonal throughout, sounds as though it has little to do with Bruckner initially, being both somewhat modern and more emotionally tormented in a way that seems to relate more to Mahler among late-romantic models. But little by little the composer’s strategy becomes clear; Brucknerian gestures loom larger, and fleeting moments of "Hey, that sounded like …", and by the time, shortly after the work’s mid-point, a full two minutes of literal quotation occurs, it seems natural, even inevitable. And after this watershed, even as the idiom returns to the more contemporary one, everything sounds like Bruckner! - or at least, Bruckner-esque. "Shadow Lines" is a large piano trio, with a predominantly tense and Romantically angst-ridden sensibility, but here too, especially in the piano part, tonal harmony frequently manifests itself for extended periods with a neo-romantic sense of drive and direction. The music also seems divided into short "movements", tightly structured and with their own shape and internal development; the extended final section, for instance, is unquestionably a "conventional" allegro-finale. "Captured Moments" is very tonal, beginning with a high-energy toccata followed by sections that could be described as a slow movement, a scherzo which merges into an intermezzo with some atmospheric effects played directly on the strings, and a final return to the rapid figuration of the opening. Chiaroscuro for organ, as the title suggests, is a work of extreme contrasts; between cascadingly energetic (sounding like a highly dissonant version of a French organ symphony toccata movement) and static and raptly contemplative; between extremes of register; between sumptuous tonal harmony and spare, harmonically ambiguous textures or dissonant Messiaenic chords. Inspired by recent unsettling political and social events in Germany, Nachtstück is very Schumannesque in expression, if not vocabulary, its clear tripartite structure bracketing a vigorous danse macabre between two lost, questing, nocturnal slow sections (and ending with a quotation from Schubert).

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