Prezentare generala CD ECM Records Heiner Goebbels: Stifters Dinge
Instalatie de Heiner Goebbels
"Heiner Goebbels may not be a household name for most American audiences, but he is a major figure on the German music theater scene who has an impressive international reputation, with many performances worldwide. Stifters Dinge (Stifter's Things) has had multiple performances in various European countries, Australia, and the U.S., when it was presented in 2009 by Lincoln Center at the Park Avenue Armory, THE venue for new music productions requiring vast amounts of space.
The piece is scored for five computer-operated player pianos, water, wind, fog, rain, metal, stones, and ice, with recordings of various speakers including Claude Lévi-Strauss and Malcolm X, and a number of anthropological recordings. Since it's obviously a theater piece with crucial (and massive) scenic elements, judging from the really fascinating photos in the CD booklet, it's difficult to know exactly what to make of it as a purely sonic experience, but Anthony Tommasini's description of it in the New York Times as "equal parts musical performance, theatrical presentation, art installation, and environmental space," helps orient the listener. Although much of the music sounds like it was produced electronically, it is in fact performed live except for the recorded voices and the use of amplification and some electronic processing. It isn't quite accurate to describe the performances as "live," since the pianos are computer-operated, and there are no live performers visible except for stagehands who manage the water, wind, fog, ice, etc.
The piece makes a strong impact even as a purely aural experience. Goebbels has the instincts of a natural theatre composer and the music makes a powerful cumulative impact. The reading of a fragment by the 19th century author Adalbert Stifter is mesmerizing and chilling, not only because it is a minutely detailed description of an ice storm, but because Goebbels' evocative music so effectively summons up a sense of some unknown horror hovering below the surface of the narrative. Stifters Dinge makes an excellent introduction to Goebbels' music and should be of strong interest to anyone who cares about new developments in interdisciplinary works in which music is presented in theatrical settings."
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