'... a mélée of romantic and selective modern language ...'
Utilising the unusual -
with BASIL RAMSEY
With two biggish works following each other in brittle classic moulds
yielding unclassic sounds and mixed in a mélée of romantic
and selective modern language, one needs to ponder the result.
Jan Järvlepp's Garbage Concerto is skating on thin ice title-wise,
and Imants Kalnins' 'Rock' Symphony, as with all these hybrids, must have
required much fine tuning of form and content. That said, both composers
are professional and provide the result of painstaking thought and work.
The concerto's garbage collection is the stuff we all regularly dump
-- glass jars, cans and plastic bottles. Yes, they can all make sounds and
can attract somewhat confused attention when given a rise in social status.
Järvlepp admits the challenge of kitchen percussion, and presumably
puts it to use as a 'wild' element requiring some discipline. The outer
movements are therefore relentless to a point of obsession [listen
-- track 1, 1:45-2:45], with some variety of colour. It is left to the
second movement for the quiet chuff of blowing across bottle tops, a rather
weird yet not unpleasant effect, especially in chords [listen
-- track 2, 0:00-0:55].
The Latvian rock symphony proclaims a different relentless momentum.
Basic material is simple, easily absorbed, and forces the ear to a compensatory
resistance for the steady proliferation of elements that then overwhelm
[listen -- track 4, 4:00-4:50]. Variety in the
second movement takes some diversionary manoeuvres, all of which make their
point. Overall, a strange mix of elements bound together with some skill
Copyright © 17 June 2001
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - BIS BIS-CD-1052
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