MAURICIO KAGEL (1931-2008): In der Matratzengruft for Tenor and Ensemble (no texts. Markus Brutscher [tenor]. Emilio Pomàrico [conductor]), MICHAEL BEIL (b.1963): Black Jack for Ensemble with Live Video and Tape (Otto Tausk [conductor]), FRANCESCO FILIDEI (b.1973): Finito ogni gesto for 6 Instruments (Marcus Creed [conductor]).
Catalogue Number: 11S063
Reference: WER 6863 2
Description: Filidei's piece is 'about' death and the rites that surround it. It begins with ticking, rattling and whispering, but gradually more conventionally played material emerges, eventually adopting a heavy, funereal pulse. But this decays, and finally the ethereal wisps and insubstantial sound take over. Beil's Black Jack initially seems to be doing something similar, though with much more substantial fragments of material separated by long pauses. Little by little these coalesce into recognizable forms, and it becomes apparent that they are looping and repeating. This finally becomes a ponderous mechanical waltz of sorts composed of repeated phrases which grinds inexorably forward, stops, and is replaced by the same idea, but now involving an actual chord, which finally blasts out to finish the piece. 'In the Mattress-grave' was Kagel's last work, not quite finished at the time of his death. Movingly, and in a manner of which Kagel would surely have approved, the instrumentation drops out in the final song, leaving just the vocal line, and then the last lines are recited, without music. With the sense of irony he shared with the poet, he compiled a text from Heine's last poems, written in his 'mattress grave' as he became increasingly immobile, recognising, lamenting and railing against the deterioration of the body in symbols, memories and Biblical allegories. In the fifteen sections of Kagel's work, the composer mirrors the constantly shifting imagery and allusions of the poetry, with references to the familiar Kagelian kaleidoscope of musical styles - memories of better times - and a continuity of narrative in the vocal part, now sensitive and pleading, now declamatory Sprechstimme, now angular and fragmented. Ensemble Musikfabrik.