STÉPHANE VANDE GINSTE (b.1971): Darkness for Wind Quintet, Trumpet, Trombone, String Quintet, Percussion, Piano and 2 Narrators, ANDRÉ LAPORTE (b.1931): Litanie con epitaffio for Flute, Bass Clarinet, String Trio, Percussion and Piano, HENRYK GÓRECKI (b.1933): Kleines Requeim für eine Polka for Wind Quintet, Trumpet, Trombone, String Quintet, Tubular Bells and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 04J116
Description: Gorecki's Requiem - for a Polish woman, not the dance - is based on the tolling of bells, which punctuate the sorrowful and meditative outer movements. The second movement has something of the implacable thrust and aggressive drive of a Shostakovich scherzo, and with the return of the bells in the closing section, a wistful theme also reminiscent of the Russian master. The third part actually puns on the title by introducing a demented polka, which sounds like a satire on Khachaturian's Sabre Dance (and is close enough that this is probably not a coincidence, though the meaning of the joke, if that is what it is, is unclear). Laporte's work, in memory of four composer friends and colleagues, builds fragments of alternating improvisatory or structured character into a tapestry of growing complexity, sometimes emerging into an almost Messiaen-like ecstatic clarity; at others, subsiding into a neo-impressionistic wash of sound. Ginste's Darkness uses Byron's pessimistic poem - a memento mori, or 'vanity' - and a text from the Chaplin film 'The Great Dictator', illustrating the texts in music which follows and even imitates the mood and expression of the words, in predominantly dark tones and subdued textures. Emanon; Raf De Keninck. In Flanders' Fields, Vol. 53.