BENET CASABLANCAS (b.1956): 7 escenas de Hamlet for Actor and Orchestra (William Keen [actor]), 3 Haikus for Piano (Francisco José Segovia), Alter Klang for Orchestra, Retablo sobre textos de Paul Klee for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano and Piano (Mercedes Lario [soprano], Marta Knörr [mezzo], Aurelio Viribay [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 03M105
Reference: STR 33828
Description: The impressive 'Alter Klang', an extended orchestral essay, is the highlight of this disc. A recent work, from 2006, it begins and ends with delicately scored, somewhat impressionistic textures, while the central section accumulates great tension and energy, sounding like a rather less tonal Rite of Spring. The piano 'Haikus' are appropriately succinct epigrams, making inventive use of contrasts in piano sonority. The central piece, with the character of a nocturne, is particularly atmospheric. The song-cycle on texts by Paul Klee employs 2 voices and an elaborately ornamented piano part, producing a result more in the nature of a chamber cantata than conventional artsong, the piano assuming an almost orchestral rôle in its extended interludes and introduction. The Hamlet scenes are the earliest work here, from 1989, richly characterized and varied, with more of the 2nd-Viennese influence less completely absorbed into Casablancas' eclectic idiom than the later works. Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid; José Ramón Encinar.