GIORGIO BATTISTELLI (b.1953): Afterthought (about a Shakepearean tragedy) for Orchestra, Begleitmusik zu enier Dichspielszene for 12 Instruments (ensemble recherche), Anarca for Orchestra and Reciting Voice.
Catalogue Number: 12L108
Reference: STR 57013
Description: Afterthought is, as the title suggests, a condensed reworking of material from the composer's opera after Shakespeare's 'Richard III'. In keeping with the atmosphere of what is one of Shakespeare's darkest plays, with its unsavory protagonist and themes of treachery, murder and war, the piece is tense and dramatic throughout, with extended passages driven by hectic motoric pounding rhythms and a sense of pursuing doom. Though not really tonal as such, the work abounds in rich chordal harmony and underlying tonal referents. Anarca also traces its origins to an opera, this time one based on the writings of Ernst Jünger and his thoughts on individuality in a totalitarian, warlike state. The music is again impressively full-blooded and large in scale, here a volatile progression of scenes of differing character. One intriguing feature is the incorporation of insect-like tappings and rustlings - Jünger was a noted entomologist - into the taut narrative fabric of the piece. A narrator appears at the very end, in a powerful and unexpected coup de théâtre. The 'Incidental Music' deliberately recalls Schoenberg's similarly titled work, here six scenes of highly suggestive narrative character, complete with footsteps and vocalizations, and instrumental sound effects which vividly evoke an unwritten drama. National RAI Symphony Orchestra; Pierre-André Valade.