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This DVD comes in a trifold with an accompanying audio CD and an excellent booklet in English, French, German, Chinese and Japanese. The DVD has French, English and Chinese subtitles as well as there being Greek (Le Sermon de Gaïa) and Latin (Cantate Meditatio XXI) texts, features, interviews, and a fascinating territorial analysis.
The composer's personal philosophy about doctrinal delusion and his horror at the pointless wastes of war are very individual expressions he portrays to great effect in both works.
I think this recording well illustrates the man himself. He is a polyglot (Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, German and English). I firmly believe that the capacity to think in parallel expression accords the creative mind added dimension -- a further awareness of colour and idiom. Rui dos Reis' above-mentioned compositions are replete with clever texture weavings, mixes of modernist vocal glissandi, spoken chanting, plainsong-like passages and mediaeval boisterous profanity; elements of his skilful writing. This music is pierced with climaxes, often surprising in their simplicity. A solo voice, or a simple organ unison octave passage of but few notes crowns the triumph of gradual crescendi. The variety of chosen elements amalgamates into a smooth flow: one colour and texture blending into another seamlessly. It's easy to comprehend why he was awarded the Annual Press Prize for the best orchestrations -- for a Polygram international record production in 1986. Since then he has added even more orchestral wings and flying hours.
Rui dos Reis
The filming (Lausanne Cathedral and adjacent shots of the glorious old town), the editing of the images and general view of ensembles and soloist is very well done.
Copyright © 13 January 2008
Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland