MASSIMO BOTTER (b.1965): Sentiero in un deserto di lava for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, Seven Blades for 7 Instruments, And at the end... the scream for Oboe and 14 Instruments, Zéula for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 03M106
Reference: STR 33845
Description: Despite its modern idiom, Botter's concerto for bass clarinet is very much a concerto in the established tradition, with the soloist assigned a role of narrative virtuosity (and, somewhat unusually, not being required to make extended-technique noises outside the instrument's normal compass). The music consists of dense masses of sound with a sense of spectral harmony, not avoiding tonal relationships but not relying on them either. Blades, for seven instruments, is necessarily more economical in sonic texture, but also exhibits meticulous attention to instrumental timbres in seven contrasting movements that are sometimes spare, sometimes aggressive, always imaginative and challenging. And at the end . . . the scream, written between the previous two works, combines the eloquent solo narrative and rich textures of the concerto with the sparer, more fragile æsthetic of the chamber work. The threatening dark hues of the ensemble material encircle the plaintive solo oboe, finally overwhelming its despairing cry. Zéula dates from a decade earlier, and establishes the tonal bedrock still perceptible under the more recent works. The decadent chromaticism of this quarter-hour tone poem suggests the Berg of the Orchesterstücke as a potent antecedent to Botter's evolving style. Salvador Salvador (bass clarinet), Juan Carlos Báguena (oboe), Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid; José Ramón Encinar.