Monday, 11 June 2018

Mathias Spahlinger - Inter-mezzo/128 Erfüllte Augenblicke/In Dem Ganzen Ocean... (1993 compi)

Three 80s recordings of works by Mathias Spahlinger (b. 1944, Frankfurt) here, as part of the Wergo label's Edition Zeitgenössische Musik series.  First up is Inter-mezzo (1986), a piano concerto-like piece with interesting playing techniques on the piano strings - "...plectrum, hammer, steel balls, squared timbers, tuning fork or drumsticks..." and will appeal to Xenakis fans of a similar era.

Then there's 128 Erfüllte Augenblicke (1976) (fulfilled moments - or something like that?) for voice, clarinet and cello.  It's one of those 'choose your own random structure' compositions, with 128 different pages lasting a few seconds each, apart from one four-minute section.  As might be expected, it all sounds a bit choppy and lacks forward momentum, but a lot of the vocal sounds (by Dietburg Spohr - I've got an ECM New Series CD of her vocal ensemble that I must post sometime) are pretty out-there and enjoyable.

My favourite thing here, then, was the final work, the two-part In Dem Ganzen Ocean Von Empfindungen Eine Welle Absondern, Sie Anhalten (1985) for three choirs and eight-channel playback.  The title is roughly 'In the great ocean, a single emerging wave stops you in your tracks' (I think? Happy to be corrected).  This was its premiere performance in 1987, with the atmospherics well captured.  Textually,  the work draws on news reports regarding world poverty, hunger and inequality, which taken with its performance gives the whole thing a bit of a Luigi Nono feel to my ears.


1 comment:

  1. A perhaps more appropriate rendering of the long German title could be:
    "Separate a single wave from the great ocean of sensations and stop her".
    Good blog!
    Thanks and best regards