Helmut Lachenmann: Salut für Caudwell; Les Consolations; Concertini

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
German composer Helmut Lachenmann is the guy who is not afraid to make you afraid; his music is by turns tough, confrontational, intellectual and sometimes deliberately naïve and inartistic sounding and he wouldn't have it any other way. Moreover, his range of influence in new music, particularly in Europe, is immense, and doubtless his edgy and seemingly anarchic musical constructions have a wide appeal for young and impressionable listeners. So there's every good reason to want to hear him, and Kairos' two-CD set Helmut Lachenmann: Les Consolations is a decent introduction to what Lachenmann has to offer. The first disc features works from the 1970s, the decade that ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
German composer Helmut Lachenmann is the guy who is not afraid to make you afraid; his music is by turns tough, confrontational, intellectual and sometimes deliberately naïve and inartistic sounding and he wouldn't have it any other way. Moreover, his range of influence in new music, particularly in Europe, is immense, and doubtless his edgy and seemingly anarchic musical constructions have a wide appeal for young and impressionable listeners. So there's every good reason to want to hear him, and Kairos' two-CD set Helmut Lachenmann: Les Consolations is a decent introduction to what Lachenmann has to offer. The first disc features works from the 1970s, the decade that witnessed his string quartet "Gran Torso" 1972 that made his international reputation; "Salut für Caudwell" 1977 is a bizarre guitar duo in which the two guitarists speak various phrases in time to a potently rhythmic, tonally inarticulate accompaniment. The dead, rather thumping sound of the nylon stringed guitars is amusing given its immediate evocation of amateur guitar playing, but the format wears out its welcome long before its 25 minutes is up. Much better is "Les Consolations" 1978, scored for 16 voices and orchestra, which sets a chattering, hissing, speaking, and howling chorus to a spindly accompaniment of seemingly random -- though obviously tightly controlled -- elements produced by a fairly large orchestra. It's a little reminiscent of works like Berio's "Sinfonia" or Stockhausen's "Momente" and is very well performed here by the combined forces of the Schola Heidelberg under Walter Nussbaum and Johannes Kalitzke leading the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln. The premiere of the work was given by Clytus Gottwald and Peter Eötvös in those respective roles, so the established performance standard was set high; the groups heard here do a fine job with it. "Concertini" 2005 is a large chamber orchestral work commissioned by Ensemble Modern with additional support from patron Betty Freeman. It bears some commonality with John Cage's "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" in that the sounds in many cases are not those you might expect from an orchestra, and Lachenmann has commented that his works of the 1960s were viewed in some quarters as representing a kind of "instrumental musique concrete," an apt description of what is heard here. However, it is decidedly lower key than "Les Consolations," and its wiggling, scarping, exhaling sounds are a little more like the quiet sections of "Gran Torso" than anything else on this set. However, the very description of Kairos' Helmut Lachenmann: Les Consolations as a "set" is something of an issue here, particularly if one values the concept of music-by-the-yard as an essential principle in making choices. "Concertini" is the only work on the second disc, running short of 35 minutes, and the first disc runs just short of an hour; the two discs taken together don't even crack the 95-minute mark. So one is compelled to wonder, couldn't Kairos have found something of Lachenmann's to place in the last 35 minutes available on the second disc? Certainly not all of his remaining works run in excess of that. Be that as it may, what actually is on set is pretty good, and if one is only looking to dip a toe into the massive reservoir that is Lachenmann, Kairos' set isn't a bad option even though it's a little uneconomical.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/2009
  • Label: Kairos
  • EAN: 9120010281211
  • Catalog Number: 12652
  • Sales rank: 151,679

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Salut für Caudwell, for 2 guitars (with speaking) - Helmut Lachenmann & Theodor Ross (25:20)
    Composed byHelmut Lachenmann
  2. 2–6 Consolations, for voices & orchestra - Johannes Kalitzke & Helmut Lachenmann (32:16)
    Composed byHelmut Lachenmann
    Conducted byJohannes Kalitzke
    Performed byJohannes Kalitzke, Westdeutschen Rundfunk-Orchester, Cologne, Schola Heidelberg
    1. 2 Präludium
    2. 3 Consolation 1
    3. 4 Interludium
    4. 5 Consolation 2
    5. 6 Postludium
Disc 2
  1. 1 Concertini, for ensemble - Johannes Kalitzke & Helmut Lachenmann (37:06)
    Composed byHelmut Lachenmann
    Conducted byJohannes Kalitzke
    Performed byJohannes Kalitzke
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johannes Kalitzke Primary Artist
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