Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen – A Talk of Our Time (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:10:56 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Dacapo
Influenced by Grisey, Murail and Xenakis, Rosing-Schow writes music in which timbre and colour are as important as theme and harmony. His works unfold like blossoming flowers, and his early interest in improvisation brings a sense of interdependent, conversational instinct to the three concertos and two ensemble works on this release. His sources of inspiration are many, including ecological concerns, and his material is released with a calligraphic, aerated clarity and sense of functionalism in which no note, timbre or color is wasted.
When Niels Rosing-Schow was growing up, Danish music was adapting to the New Simplicity of Henning Christiansen, Ole Buck and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. European ears were growing familiar with the slow, crystalline musical metamorphoses of György Ligeti. From the Paris of Gérard Grisey, Tristan Murail and Iannis Xenakis came the suggestion that sound and harmony might just be the same thing.
As a composer, Rosing-Schow was formed by all of the above, even if France handed him his most significant philosophical and aesthetic revelation. On a scholarship in Paris following studies at home in Copenhagen, he worked at Xenakis’s Ateliers UPIC and became interested in musical spectralism propagated by Grisey and Murail. After talking with Xenakis, Rosing-Schow woke to the expressive potential of his own inbuilt reluctance to separate harmony and sonority. He concluded that those things are, in fact, one and the same.
Thus Rosing-Schow started to develop a spectral style in which instrumental timbre and colour would carry as much structural import as theme and harmony. As those ideas infiltrated his music, that music began to take on its characteristic form and develop the hallmarks with which, for all its divergence and contrast, it can be identified today.
Resulting from his strict, exploitative view of his own material, many of Rosing-Schow’s scores appear to trace a process of unfolding, like blossoming flowers – a process that can expand into full-blown metamorphosis. Many of them combine a calligraphic, aerated clarity with a sense of functionalism that sees no note, timbre or colour wasted. His early interest in improvisation gives his ensemble works in particular a specific sense of interdependent, conversational reactivity.
We can add to this a certain fascination with time, perhaps inherited from Grisey. What was first heard in the 1981 work E Rigidis – which contrasts the mechanical with the fluid – has echoed through countless works from Rosing-Schow since, including those heard here. Time and memory, as much as sound and sensuality, are the composer’s building blocks. – Andrew Mellor
1-1. Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen – Distant Calls (Songs & Moves) (10:42)
1-2. Jeanette Balland – I. Pace (07:05)
1-3. Jeanette Balland – II. Flux (04:49)
1-4. Jeanette Balland – III. Interlock (06:24)
1-5. Manuel Esperilla – I. — (12:37)
1-6. Manuel Esperilla – II. — (03:05)
1-7. Helene Navasse – FlashNight (16:12)
1-8. Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen – Unspoken – Unheard (09:57)