FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Le vin herbé.
Catalogue Number: 05I011
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Reference: HMC 901935.36
Description: This re-telling of the old Tristan and Isolde tale, composed between 1938 and 1941, uses a French poem whose author (a contemporary of Martin) went back farther than the sources Wagner used. Martin, using only a 12-voice choir, eight strings and piano, weaves a somber, grey yet mesmerizing web of homophonic sound, sometimes modal, with sparing moments of dramatic punctuation, with soloists stepping forth to represent the major characters at times. Owing nothing to any of the contemporary musical currents, Le vin herbé is a strangely compelling experience, as if coming out of the mists of the Cornish past to tell its tale and then mysteriously to recede. 2 CDs. French-English texts. Sandrine Piau, Jutta Böhnert (sopranos), Steve Davislim (tenor), RIAS Chamber Choir, Scharoun Ensemble; Daniel Reuss.