GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Crosswind for Viola and 4 Saxophones, Alter ego for Saxophone, Rasch for Viola and Saxophone, Volte-face for Viola, Signaux for 12 Saxophones.
Catalogue Number: 10L113
Description: These pieces display common factors of Aperghis' music; a compulsion to expand the capabilities of instruments (as he says; 'A singer can sing ... with [or] without breathiness, with vibrato, without vibrato; he can even scream. Why shouldn't instruments do that ...') and a certain confrontational aspect in the relationship between players. Both in Crosswind and Rasch the instruments interact in an 'animalistic' way; in Crosswind one cannot help seeing the viola as the victim of an assault by the pack of saxophones, which stalk it like hyænas. The saxophone players are required to use various alternative techniques and vocalizations in the course of the work. The version of Signaux heard here was mixed by the composer from recordings of the piece's four parts (which can theoretically be played by any instruments of the same timbre and range). A considerably earlier work than the others here, it creates a kind of atonal minimalism through the overlapping of ascending scales, leading to the same kind of textural patterning and slowly shifting plastic forms as early minimal works, though without the emphasis on consonant harmony, which is largely (though not entirely) absent here. The pieces for solo saxophone and solo viola share a 'quasi parlando' expressiveness, both in extended soliloquy, with microtonal inflections aplenty but less experimental technique than the ensemble pieces. Geneviève Strosser (viola), XASAX, Marcus Weiss (tenor sax), Pierre-Stephane Meugé (soprano sax).