Mathias Spahlinger: Farben der Frühe / musica viva vol. 16


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Artikelnummer: NEOS 10710 Kategorien: ,
Veröffentlicht am: Juni 1, 2007


Spahlinger ist nicht gerade als Schnellschreiber bekannt, aber der Entstehungszeitraum von acht Jahren ist auch für seine Verhältnisse außergewöhnlich lang. Die UA des Stücks wurde fünfmal verschoben, ehe es im November 2005 schließlich realisiert werden konnte (Theaterhaus Stuttgart).

Zu guter Letzt erschließt Spahlinger zwischen den Trümmern tonaler Ordnung und den Roh- und Neubauten der Klang- und Geräuscharchitektur jedoch tatsächlich Neues, so noch nicht Gehörtes und setzt damit wahrscheinlich nicht nur im eigenen Schaffen eine Zäsur, sondern in der aktuellen Musikproduktion überhaupt.

Die vorliegende Multichannel-Surround-Aufnahme vom 20. Januar 2007 mit den Pianisten der UA ist eine Pioniertat der musica viva München.


Farben der Frühe (2005)
für sieben Klaviere

[1] 06:03 Satz 1

[2] 02:02 Satz 2
[3] 10:47 Satz 3

[4] 07:16 Satz 4
[5] 15:52 Satz 5

[6] 04:19 Satz 6

gesamt: 46:47

Ensemble SurPlus (Axel Gremmelspacher, Peter Hoffmann, Sven Thomas Kiebler, Eun Ju Kim, Hansjörg Koch, Irmela Roelcke, Elmar Schrammel)
James Avery, conductor

Live aufgezeichnet am 20. März 2007 im Carl-Orff-Saal, Gasteig, München



The two founding-member pianists of Ensemble SurPlus, Sven Thomas Kiebler and Eun Ju Kim, are joined by guest pianists Axel Gremmelspacher, Peter Hoffmann, Hansjörg Koch, Irmela Roeleke, and Elmar Schrammel under the direction of James Avery in the first recording of Farben der Frühe (“Morning Colors”) by Mathias Spahlinger. Composed and premiered in 2005, Morning Colors was recorded during a Munich concert in 2007. Recording values are high and capture the spatial separation of the seven concert grands on which this formidable score is dependent. The performances are excellent, though the music itself is, to my ears at least, deeply perplexing.

Generally when reviewing new works I resist the temptation to look at the notes and try instead to form an impression based strictly on the music itself, unbolstered by intellectual scaffolding. Admittedly, half way through Morning Colors, I was thumbing through Andreas Kosack’s program notes in an effort to understand what exactly might be going on. It’s not that this music is in any way incomprehensible, but that it seems so astonishingly anachronistic—as though one were time-transported to a 1951 workshop at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music. Nor did the notes shed much light. Kosack refers portentously to the philosophers Spinoza and Liebruck; he alludes to musical quotations of Chopin, Scriabin, Ravel, and Thelonious Monk embedded in the score (none of which were audible to me); and he quotes the composer’s conviction, “Anarchy in the sense of being ungoverned—that is the lack of something that comes first and asserts itself—is the basis for everything in life.” Yes—and?

The 47 minutes of Morning Colors unfold in seven more or less contrasting, untitled movements. In some ways, the most remarkable is the third and second longest at a little under 11 minutes. The first eight-and-a-half minutes of this movement consist of nothing but a single pitch in the pianos’ bass range repeated in varying rhythmic patterns and passed among the pianos. Maybe I’m spoiled from listening too often to Steve Reich’s Six Pianos of 1973, but I have to believe that massed keyboards can stimulate some imaginative response beyond what is heard here. Ultimately Morning Colors seems to have been composed in a vacuum, innocent of mature Boulez, Stockhausen, and Nono, and blissfully unaware of any music that’s emanated from America or the U.K. over the past 45 years. Of course, none of this would matter if an original creative voice were saying something—anything. Mea culpa! I fail to hear it.

The packaging of the recording is handsome, and the tone of Kosack’s obfuscating commentary is at least earnest. As to the “morning colors,” they must have followed one of the worst nights on record.

Patrick Rucker


Piano News
 November/Dezember 2007


RONDO plus 5/07





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