Known for his scientific explorations of timbre and his innovative syntheses of acoustic and electronic techniques, Tristan Murail is regarded as a composer of the "spectral school." He accepts untempered sound as the basis for his expansive musical language, far removed from tonality, serialism, and aleatoric procedures. Gondwana was developed from electronic music concepts, and its expanding and contracting bands of complex sounds are analogous to those generated through a synthesizer. Shimmering clusters, washes of color, and massed, low sonorities evoke the slow shifting of continents. The Orchestre National de France, directed by Yves Prin, delivers this work with primordial grandeur and astonishing depth. Because of its smaller forces, Désintégrations is more focused and intense than Gondwana, though no less cosmic in its implications. The Ensemble de l'Itinéraire blends effectively with the electronic tape, so it is difficult to distinguish acoustic from synthetic sounds. Time and Again is a departure from the familiar practice of slowly unfolding processes, for its chopped-up material is jumbled, as if sequential events were reordered in a time machine.
Though a pupil of the great orchestrator Rimsky-Korsakov, and in turn a teacher to the likes of Rachmaninov, Glière, and Scriabin, Anton Arensky himself is a composer often forgotten when contemplating the Russian greats. Productive in many genres, it is perhaps in his chamber music that this unduly neglected composer truly shines. His writing has much of the same textural sophistication and melodic beauty as his close friend, Tchaikovsky. In fact, the theme on which the Second Quartet's Variations are based is drawn from a Tchaikovsky quartet. Performing Arensky's First and Second string quartets, along with the Piano Quintet, is the Ying Quartet. This ensemble's playing is characterized by a surprisingly precise, consistent uniformity of sound and exactness of articulation, making it seem as if a single instrument were playing as opposed to four independent parts. All aspects of their technical execution are polished and refined, which only enhances their equally enjoyable musical effusiveness, rich, deep tone, and understanding of Arensky's scores that casts them in the best possible light.
In his lifetime, Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was most celebrated as a pianist and was often considered Liszt's only real rival. However, he was also an extremely productive composer, his output including eight concertos, two of which are for 'cello.
Ian Boddy & Erik Wøllo first worked together on the Frontiers album released in 2012 as a limited edition CD. This musical travelogue through imaginary northern landscapes garnered high praise for it’s shifting moods and panoramic soundscapes. The duo were invited to play their inaugural concert at the Electronic Circus Festival V held in Guetersloh, Germany in the autumn of 2012. The organisers requested that Boddy & Wøllo performed as much of the Frontiers album as possible and indeed tracks 4 to 12 are taken from that release albeit interpreted for a live concert setting. A further 30 minutes of all new material was also composed and this comprises the opening 3 tracks of the concert…
During the 70s, the Japanese jazz scene was in an incredibly intense phase - one that had players breaking out of older modes that were often strict copies of American jazz, and working in newer styles that often blended soul, modal, and spiritual jazz with freer-thinking ideas and more Eastern-inspired modes. The result was an incredible batch of music that was probably more strongly recorded by the Three Blind Mice label than any other Japanese imprint - because unlike some of their contemporaries, TBM didn't fill their catalog with work by American players, and often focused exclusively on Japanese artists.