DETLEV GLANERT (b.1960): Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch for Vocal Soloists, Chorus, Organ and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 08T068

Label: RCO Live

Reference: RCO 17005

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $18.98

Description: This hugely impressive work is as original as it is powerful. And it must be the most theatrical requiem ever written. Glanert is a great admirer of Bosch's teeming nightmare-scapes, full of grotesques, demons, angels, far-off visions of redemption and close-up macabre debaucheries. Glanert conceived a requiem for his hero, and the result is this highly operatic requiem-oratorio which combines a full setting of the Missa pro defunctis with mediæval texts from the Carmina Burana (”of course" avoiding those set by Orff - make of that what you will) concerning evil and in particular the seven deadly sins. The juxtaposition of liturgical and secular texts and the division of the forces into chamber choir with organ and full choir with soloists and orchestra suggests some affinity with Britten's War Requiem, with which Glanert's work shares some characteristics. He acknowledges Mahler as a major influence, and the piece includes some very apparent Mahlerian gestures (and a couple of sly almost-quotations), and tellingly he relates that "I saw [B.A. Zimmermann's hyper-expressionistic opera] Die Soldaten as a twelve-year-old, and I was so shocked that I went back sixteen times" - which tells us a lot about his approach to dramatic narrative composition. The work is largely tonal, and the Requiem sections would be a major sacred work in their own right, but the juxtaposition of the lofty religious ideals of the Mass with the profane texts gleefully celebrated by a parade of demons who seem to be close kin to those in Busoni's Doktor Faust, introduced by the Archangel Michael as he decides Bosch's deservance of redemption, makes this as close a musical analogue of the painter's fantastical imagery as can be imagined. David Wilson-Johnson (voice), Aga Mikolaj (soprano), Ursula Hesse van den Steinen (mezzo), Gerhard Siegel (tenor), Christof Fischesser (bass), Leo van Doeselaar (organ) Netherlands Radio Choir, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Markus Stenz.

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