GÉRARD GRISEY (1946-1998): Le Temps et l'Écume for 4 Percussionists, 2 Synthesizers and Chamber Orchestra (Ensemble S, Paulo Alvares, Benjamin Kobler [synthesizers], Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Emilio Pomárico), Les Chants de l'Amourfor 12 Voices and Tape (Schola Heidelberg; Walter Nussbaum).
Catalogue Number: 02K115
Description: Like much of Grisey's music, with its electronically expanded timbral soundscapes, "Time and Foam" (the title is based on the composer's image of 'foam on the waves of space-time') projects a kind of hyper-impressionism, intricate color-patterns surrounded by a vibrant aura of higher partials. The piece moves progressively through three time-scales; a 'human' timeframe, in which the pulse of the music forms a perceptible rhythm; a 'birdlike' interlude, in high, rapid crystalline sounds, and the slow time 'of whales', a deep, rolling pulsation, ponderous, massive and impressively sonorous. The text of the "Love Songs" is a fragmentary deconstruction of the phrase 'I love you' alongside other material which forms a less distinct background. The singers intone the phonemes, sighs, syllables and breaths, somewhat recalling Stockhausen's Stimmung, while the tape part, also derived form voice effects and prepared by the composer at IRCAM, gradually becomes a chorus, a super-voice, both more and less than human, ultimately dominating the texture.