JOHANNES MOTSCHMANN (b.1978): Facets of Infinity (Frankfurt Opera anad Museum Orchestra; Sebastian Weigle), Interlude, Darkness and Silence.
Catalogue Number: 11T068
Label: Berlin Classics
Description: "Spark" is an instrumental ensemble whose five members divide their time between piano, various strings, melodica and innumerable flutes and recorders. They present themselves as hip, young and unstuffy non-conformist crossover artists, and their usual concert fare consists of minimalist, ambient music with baroque and classical works thrown in for good measure. Motschmann's music lays down a huge, lowering orchestral canvas in harmonically slow-moving waves and surges - a very close relative of John Luther Adams' vast and impressive Become Ocean (10Q010) - (at least until the final 'rondo' of Facets, in which the orchestra is infected with the group's up-tempo energy) - against which the group can emit its sparks, like a hybrid of the Philip Glass Ensemble and the Michael Nyman Band (not coincidentally, Spark has a ripsnortingly energetic, if slightly scaled-down and simplified, rendition of Nyman's 'An Eye for Optical Theory' on YouTube), playing much the sort of thing familiar from Glass, Nyman and the non-Lutheran John Adams. The other two pieces incorporate ambient synthesizers, with a psychedelic new-age groove. While Romanticism, minimalism and ambient music are clearly in this music's DNA, this unusual fusion idiom is both unfamiliar and appealing. Spark (two recorders, viola, cello and piano).