martedì 18 dicembre 2012

Review of Phoenix-Portrait by Ensemble Phoenix Basel, Swiss Grammont, 2008


Italian Translation

“The form of the work of art gains its aesthetic validity precisely in proportion to the number of different perspectives from wich it can be viewed and understood. These give it a wealth of different resonances and echoes without impairing its original essence” U. Eco Opera Aperta The open work

An impressive record, this latest work of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel, released in 2008 for the record label Musique Suisse. Impressive for several reasons: design, sound, recording.This record seems to represent an evening, a concert of the Ensemble. All five pieces were recorded live and can then be assembled together to be an effective witness to the skill and musical force that drives this group of well-rehearsed musicians. The sound that flows in our speakers is a sound open, rich, precise, clean, solid, characterized by an almost maniacal attention to detail, an attention which in my humble opinion has sometimes been unjustly neglected in contemporary music, in a contest between serial forms, where the fetishism of the detail, saturated with information, almost makes performances and listening almost impractical, and more aleatoric form where the regard to detail transforms the work itself into one abnormaly bloated detail whose result in terms of sound may here and there be rather involvin on account of the associations it evokes (clouds, wind, sea..).
Infact, from mine personal point of view, a conception of musical form that tends toward openness implies the desire and the need to follow and develop formal pathways wich are alternative, unexpected, non-homogeneous and most important not linear.

The risk in these cases is to draw a map, a form of self-referential language, from which going out and being able to communicate may risult difficult. It’s not the case with this CD, where you can just relax and be fascinated by the three-dimensional sound of the Ensemble.Very nice CD, accompanied by a beautiful 26-page booklet published in three languages.

“… you .. games? .. there are no games from here to eternity…”
Jim Grimm (1928-2006): Kammerkonzert für 7 Spieler;
Beat Furrer (*1954): still für Ensemble;
Fausto Romitelli (1963-2004): Cupio dissolvi für 14 Spieler;

Jorge Sánchez-Chiong (*1969): Veneno 5 für Schlagzeug und Ensemble;
Alex Buess (*1954): Ghosts of Schizophonia (Phylum II) für Ensemble und Live-Elektronik.

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