SANDER GERMANUS (b.1972): Lunapark for 16 Musicians, Le Tourne-discqe Antique for Reed Quintet, Hallucinations for String Quartet, Microphobia for Alto Saxophone and Tap Shoe, Piccadilly Circus for 18 Musicians, Hammerfest for 2 Player Pianos, Steigers for Mezzo-Soprano and 6 Woodwinds, Organic Movements for 31-tone Fokker Organ, Waldorf-Astoria for 17 Musicians.
Catalogue Number: 08N112
Reference: KTC 1389
Description: 'Fun' and 'microtonal' are terms not commonly encountered in close proximity but that is precisely the point of Germanus' compositional philosophy; why shouldn't the subdivided intervals whose sound he finds so appealing be placed at the service of music that is entertaining, approachable, even popular? So the three pieces depicting places, the Lunapark trilogy, have a pleasingly disorienting sense of confusion, playfully chaotic, while Le Tourne-disc uses microtonal pitch distortions to suggest an irregularly running old gramophone - but the music played is plainly popular in nature. Elsewhere, the densely textured, very recognizable Dutch brand of small-ensemble minimalism is tweaked, in music that manages to sound as though it ought to be consonant, but being microtonal, isn't. Both Microphobia and Steigers directly address popular forms, though refracted through the multifaceted prism of microtonality. Hammerfest and Organic Movements, for instruments tuned in microtonal subdivisions suggest not arcane, avant-garde pitch relationships, but lively, consonant music for, respectively, pianos and organ, somehow heard in a disoriented, hallucinating or dream state. Calefax Reed Quintet, Quatuor Danel, ASKO/Schoenberg; Reinbert de Leeuw.