GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS (b.1953): Hyperion - Concerto for Light and Orchestra (rosale [light installation]), JÖRG WIDMANN (b.1973): Zweites Labyrinth for Orchestral Groups.
Catalogue Number: 01J105
Description: Hyperion is an especially thorough example of the exploitation of three of the most prevalent trends in contemporary composition; spatialism, spectralism and aleatory, precisely controlled by technology. A 'concerto for light' in the sense that projected light of varying intensity and color determines aspects of the performance by four widely spaced orchestral groups, the harmonic and timbral content at any given moment having been precisely predetermined by the composer. Sometimes, these events take the form of recognizable chords in a clear rhythm, or overlapping polyrhythm between groups; at others, the music has a densely textured fluidity somewhat in the style of Lachenmann, though avoiding the incorporation of noise sounds. This textural element is enhanced by the microtonality of some of the material, led by two pianos in 'alternative' tunings, which give rise to eighth-tone intervals and close clusters when taken up by the orchestral strings. Even without being able to see the light projection, on a sound-only recording, the acoustical analogy of the processes by which light can change instantly or with imperceptible slowness is unmistakable. Widmann's piece deliberately contrasts the instrumental groupings in ensembles spaced around the audience - five, this time - making the evolving flow of sound around the performance space, a direct musical analogy of a structured yet uncertain journey through a labyrinth, the principal point of the piece. Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden und Freiburg; Hans Zender. SACD hybrid.