HARRY PARTCH (1901-1974): Delusion of the Fury
Catalogue Number: 08Y029
Reference: WER 6871 2
Description: This CD is both an unique, immersive æsthetic experience and an invaluable historical document. It presents - finally! - the recording of the ground-breaking reconstruction and staging by Ensemble Musikfabrik and Heiner Goebbels in 2013 of Partch's extraordinarily original music theatre work - its first since the composer-supervised presentation of the piece in 1969. Delusion of the Fury is of the utmost importance in Partch's output; not only is it a magnificent piece of music, but it comprehensively explores the composer’s overwhelmingly sensual systems of microtonal just intonation and is scored for a complete ensemble of his especially constructed, sculptural, beautiful, and unique sounding instruments. For this performance, Ensemble Musikfabrik commissioned Cologne based drummer and instrument maker Thomas Meixner to produce a complete reconstruction of Partch’s instruments, based on the only fully preserved collection of instruments on display at the School of Music of the University of Washington, which is only available for research purposes, not for performance. Unlike many groundbreaking experimenters in new music in the mid-20th century, one thing that sets Partch apart is his insistence on mellifluous, beautiful sounds, and the avoidance of harshness; this gives his music the unusual distinction of sounding utterly strange - as much so as anything produced by electronic means - while remaining as delightful to the senses as the traditional instruments of music history from folk music to the modern symphony orchestra with their generations of evolution and development. Delusion is in two acts; the first, based on a Japanese Noh play, is a tale of frustrated revenge and the futility of anger; the second is a comedy of errors from an Ethiopian folk tale, highlighting the farcical consequences of a hasty rush to judgment. The playing of the unique instruments, with their seductive timbres and theatrical rhythmic drive, is an integral part of the stage performance, and the whole amounts to a riveting hour and a quarter of music, with or without the stage action. Ensemble Musikfabrik.