Monday, 30 October 2017
Les Percussions De Strasbourg (2CD compi 1993, rec. 1967-71 + 1992)
Hugues Dufourt. The introductory rolls gather steam into a piece of great momentum, before an eerie atmospheric end.
LPDS included Ionisation on their 1970 album 'Americana', one of several they recorded for the Prospective 21e Siècle series released by the Philips label, with their striking reflective covers created on engraved aluminium foil. The remainder of the CD here gives us two of these albums in full, the first of which paired Maurice Ohana's Quatre études chorégraphiques with Miloslav Kabeláč's 8 Inventions. Both suites are highly listenable and almost deceptively straightforward - just as well, as you need to brace yourself for what's to come next. Yep, it's SGTG favourite Iannis Xenakis.
Xenakis' 1969 work Persephassa, like Persepolis, was written for the Iranian Shiraz Arts Festival, and was performed there by LPDS in scorching desert heat. As with many Xenakis works where the performers were scattered throughout the audience, you can only get a tiny approximation of Persephassa's spatial majesty on a stereo recording, but the insane intensity of the work is still enough to require a bit of a lie down afterwards to recover. Unmissable stuff to cap off a great and wide-ranging compilation.
See also: Pléiades/Psappha by Xenakis (not performed by LPDS)