Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Octavian Nemescu / Costin Cazaban (1996 compilation)

Nicely strange compilation from the Dumitrescu/Avram label Edition Modern, split between Romanian spectralists Octavian Nemescu, who I haven't posted before but, as mentioned previously, I was introduced to via SpookCityUSA, and Costin Cazaban, whose only other CD release was featured here back in December.

Nemescu's 32 minutes of the album are bookended by the nearly-identical piano pieces Spectacle pour un Instant/Instance (1974) - each only features a few seconds of piano that echoes into nothingness and electronic static over the remainder of the two minutes duration.  Quatre Dimensions en Temps IV (Illuminations) (1967) fades in subtly for eight minutes of psychedelic orchestral soup that suddenly leaves only chiming bells; very haunting and arresting stuff.  The remaining Nemescu piece is 20 minutes of IN PAR (1988) for trombone and tape, which starts with a loud electronic gurgle before proceeding to mutate the trombone sound with increasing amounts of metallic buzzing and other electronic sound.

The remaining 47 minutes of this disc are Cazaban's, and focus on two lengthy, knotty orchestral works, filling out the picture of his ouevre a bit more when taken alongside the mostly chamber works on his other CD release mentioned above.  On Deus ex Machina (1988), a seasick-sounding flute tries to get its bearings in the choppy orchestral waters.  Trellis (1985) is a little more static-sounding, until its last few minutes spiral and churn around.  Sandwiched in between these two is a string quartet, Au-delà de Vienne (1989).  All of it is fascinating stuff on in-depth listens; wish there were more Cazaban recordings available.  There are a few more Nemescu CDs out there, which I'm intending to pick up in due course.

Edition Modern ED.MN.2003
alt. link (zippy)


  1. Alan, I just wanted to reach out and say how much I'm enjoying your blog. I discovered it a few days ago and it's been a pleasure to comb thru the archives. We have a lot of similar music (and I've discovered a few new things too, thanks !) and I've been enjoying very much your album write ups - on more than a few occasions I've pulled something you posted off the shelf and listened with fresh ears.