CLAUDE VIVIER (1948-1983): Orion for Orchestra, Siddhartha for Orchestra in 8 Groups, 5 chansons for Percussion.
Catalogue Number: 12I085
Description: Fully versed in the compositional techniques of the 20th century - all the variants of serialism, electronic techniques and extended instrumental methods - Vivier rapidly developed his own synthetic style, fundamentally romantic and emotion-driven, always harmonically rich and timbrally full of warmth and seductive sonority. These traits are shown to great advantage in two major orchestral works from the late seventies; dramatic and sophisticated, incorporating precisely balanced layers of sound and overtones and incorporating instrumental effects clearly derived from his fascination with Asiatic music (most obviously gongs and percussion sounds, but also odd timbres which clearly stand apart from the 20th-century European-American contemporary concert tradition). Although complex, the works remain grounded in harmony both coloristic and functional, often of great beauty or high-Romantic grandeur. The late Cinq chansons (the composer did not live to hear the piece) reflects his interest in Indonesian music, rhythmically vital and placing the Gamelan in a technically challenging art-music context. Christian Dierstein (percussion), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Rundel.