HANS ABRAHAMSEN (b.1952): Landscapes, Walden (Woodwind Quintet No. 2), SCHUMANN/ABRAHAMSEN: Kinderszenen, Op. 15, RAVEL/ABRAHAMSEN: Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Catalogue Number: 06R069

Label: Dacapo

Reference: 8.226090

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: The two suites of pieces with pastoral overtones are early works in Abrahamsen's output, from a time when the composer was seeking a means to avoid the highly complex, cerebral modernism that prevailed in Europe at the time by adopting a kind of 'new simplicity' rather ahead of its time, emphasizing clean lines and a certain objectivity. The three 'landscapes' are like maps or aerial photographs, showing shapes and formations from a distance, as it were, rather than up close, huge and immersive. The pieces are based on small, lyrical motifs with a strong sense of tonality, canonic presentation of parts (in the second and third this imitative technique goes far enough to hint at minimalistic textures) and precisely judged, expressive sonorities. The Thoreau-inspired set is also based on simple material, again presented in imitation and repetition. This is closer to what one thinks of as 'nature music', with the composer's familiar sense of evocative, atmospheric sonorities. The transcriptions display Abrahamsen's feeling for sonic alchemy, perfectly rendering these wide-eyed faux-naïf miniatures in their new timbres, with just the occasional exquisitely subtle emphasis of a discord or harmonic accent to highlight a nuance or emotional accent in the original. Ensemble MidtVest.

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