JOHANNES KALITZKE (b.1959): Story Teller for Cello and Orchestra (Johannes Moser [cello], Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin), Figuren am Horizont for Violin and 6 Instrumentalists (Ivana Prištasová [violin], Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik).
Catalogue Number: 08U062
Description: Story Teller is based on the elaborately staged, surreal images of British fashion photographer Tim Walker. The six movements reflect on aspects of the photographs, which have a fairy-tale, dreamlike or nightmarish quality full of illogical associations and incongruous juxtaposition. Kalitzke's undeniably modern music similarly appropriates familiar musical objects and assembles them into montages which obey only their own internal logic. So there are plenty of Romantic gestures, or dance-hall rhythms, and the cello's commentary is eloquent and beautiful, like the figures in Walker's photographs, but these 'objects' with their familiar associations are placed in strange, sometimes disturbing, scenes in which echoing electronic effects or incongruous dissonances render them as alien as Looking Glass World or a Bosch landscape (both influences on Walker, by the way). The 'Figures on the Horizon' are deceased colleagues of the composer, anonymously memorialised in these five movements which, like those of Story Teller, bear surreally evocative titles; 'Sketch for an Uninhabitable House', 'Burning Clock' and so on. Although the music is atonal, it is full of gestures and sounds that suggest fluid, unreliable memories of tangible objects, like the distorted commonplace items in the foreground of a Dalí landscape, with the tiny, unidentifiable figures far away in the background. Microtones distort a chorale; a 13th century lament becomes a galumphing, unstable tarantella, and extended sonorities and strange instrumental combinations and timbres abound. Johannes Kalitzke (conductor).