PETER WIEGOLD (b.1949): Kalachakra and Earth and Stars for Ensemble (notes inégales; Peter Wiegold), Earth, Receive and Honoured Guest for Cor Anglais and Strings (Melinda Maxwell [cor anglais], Southbank Sinfonia; Wiegold), Les Roses for Soprano and Piano (Juliet Fraser [soprano], Martin Butler [piano]).

Catalogue Number: 10M088

Label: NMC

Reference: D158

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: Wiegold's music is a fascinatingly eclectic mixture of improvised and notated styles, and of idioms from the turn of two centuries; the early 20th and the early 21st. Having studied musics and religion of the far east, echoes of their ritualistic nature and playing techniques from outside the western concert hall are also frequently apparent. Thus Kalachakra is based on Tibetan astrology, and uses a Tibetan temple bell as a punctuating introductory motif; as it progresses through its 22 sections, music reminiscent of free jazz, gamelan-style processes, the baying and snarling brass of the Darmstadt avant garde, and sumptuous, decaying post-Mahlerian harmonies that seem to have wandered in from Gurrelieder all occur and are dismissed. Earth, receive, the title from Auden's epitaph for Yeats, begins as a somber elegy, then becomes more agitated, with potent echoes of Le sacre, with a virtuosic oboe solo which incorporates improvisational elaboration of the written material, and some extended techniques. Les roses sets poems by Jo Shapcott, written in response to a series by Rilke. Here, in the open textures of voice and piano, Wiegold's late-romantic, second-Viennese and impressionistic tendencies come to the fore. Earth and Stars is a kind of spiky, disjoined funeral procession, with elements of Birtwistle, free jazz and melancholic Bergian harmonies.

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