GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Contretemps for Soprano and Ensemble (Donatienne Michel-Dansac [soprano]), SEESAW for Ensemble, Teeter-Totter for Ensemble, Parlando for Double Bass (Uli Fussenegger).
Catalogue Number: 06N087
Description: Instrumental pieces without a theatrical component are not what Aperghis is best known for, but such works have become consistently more important in his output in recent years. Here the emphasis is on rough, complex surface textures. The extremely virtuosic soprano role in Contretemps projects frenzied hysteria throughout, in the highest register, against an aggressively active instrumental backdrop, replete with quarter-tones and noise textures. Paul Klee is frequently invoked as an early and continuing influence on Aperghis, who is after all also a visual artist, and it is easy to make a connection between these ensemble works and the painter's actively organic graphically arranged mechanisms. This is especially apparent in the two pieces that suggest balancing mechanisms, with their sense of spatial mirroring and unstable, constantly changing equilibrium, which sometimes resolves into patterns long enough to suggest the mechanical basis for their movement, before chaos reasserts itself. The double bass piece makes much use of repetitive patterns in a high-energy narrative full of every kind of extended technique and formidable virtuosity. Klangforum Wien; Emilio Pomarico, Sylvain Cambreling (SEESAW).