KETIL HVOSLEF (b.1939): Chamber Works, Vol. 3 - Inventiones I-III, Kvartoni, Bel Canto, Dirkedou, Sextet [Post].
Catalogue Number: 05S058
Label: LAWO Classics
Description: If you enjoyed the previous volume in this series (11S068), and how could you not? - then you will need no persuasion to buy this one. The pieces are all quirky and to a greater or lesser extent downright strange, but so appealing! Whatever else is going on, Hvoslef knows how to draw you in with delightful tonal harmony, and his eccentric humour is irrestible. The three Invenciones abound in his trademark jittery, obsessive ostinati, but each is introduced by something that sounds like an absurd circus galop, and the third one, based on the opening motif from Mozart's 40th Symphony, turns unexpected serious, as Mozart's ghost seems to be wandering around a bleak, barren landscape. Hvoslef's love of ensembles that just shouldn't work - recorders, piano, guitar and soprano (singing the nonsense syllables that Hvoslef uses to avoid intelligibity problems in his vocal parts) - yet somehow in his hands sound like the most obvious thing in the world, is also showcased here. Kvartoni includes quarter-tones on the recorder and delicate guitar imitations inside the piano, and sounds like the most listener-friendly, witty divertimento you could ever wish to hear. The piece has a strong rhythmic element - the usual non-minimalistic ostinati, and one is often reminded that the composer played in rock bands in his youth - and the same is true of Bel Canto, which explores with Shostakovich-like irony the idea of a 'beautiful song' whistling in the dark of a thoroughly hostile and menacing environment. “Church Duo”: guitar and full organ. What can one say, other than that both instruments do their own thing - the guitar sings, dances and seduces while the organ muses on the mysteries of existence - while somehow managing not to step on each other's toes. Then they start playfully imitating each other ... The Sextet is lively and playful, instantly ingratiating, with an insistent mechanical pulse that suggests the soundtrack to a film of some eccentric mechanism of indeterminate purpose. Ricardo Odriozola (violin), Einar Røttingen (piano), Stein-Erik Olsen (guitar), Hilde Haraldsen Sveen (soprano), Karstein Askeland (organ), Gro Sandvik (flute), Diego Lucchesi (clarinet), Ilene Channon (horn).