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Posted October 1, 2010
Plaetner achieved late appreciation for his early electronics works after his passing several years ago. Following their success with this, Dacapo now expands awareness of his nearly unknown later chamber works and songs. The 20-minute opener, " Episodes and Collisions" , is a kiss-fight-and-weave between clarinet, cello, and piano. It races headlong between old-world folk melodies and decidedly anxious modernity, like memories at half-speed and then on top of each other. The " Sonata For Clarinet and Piano" is a five part suite, more spacious now while bobbing and darting around the clarinet's tumbling thoughts. It moves like a determined chase through a cityscape of the mind. These pieces would appeal to modernist composer admirers, as well as film fans of Bernard Herrmann, the Hammer films of the 60's, and Ennio Morricone's textural work with Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Balanced with these are small songs interpreting poems of pacifists that Plaetener admired. A spartan trio quietly undergirds the multi-faceted Helene Gjerris as she lifts them through confessional-esque opera. A worthy and welcome addition to the canon of an overlooked composer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Those familiar only with Jø rgen Plaetner’ s abstract electronic compositions may be surprised to learn that the late Danish composer also wrote a fair amount of chamber and vocal music while living in Sweden during the latter part of his life. While Plaetner’ s acoustic output is much more tonally driven, it still exhibits an uncompromising modernist complexity, and deserves at least as much attention as his more celebrated electronic excursions. Hats off to Dacapo, then, for featuring two of his longest and most significant chamber works on this outstanding new release. “ Episodes and Collisions” is a 19-minute piece scored for clarinet, cello and piano, while “ Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” clocks in at just over 22 minutes. Both are suffused with an almost Webern-like intimacy, yet Plaetner’ s signature is recognizable in his brittle dissonance and coolly incisive lyricism. His softly modulated sonorities and rich-grained harmonic textures further evoke a broad and deeply affecting range of autumnal colors. Rounding out the disc is a selection of seven songs set to satirical and humanist texts by noted Swedish and Danish poets. Writing for piano and voice, Plaetner conjures angular yet fluid melodies that support the lyrics to an almost self-effacing degree, but which somehow cling to memory after the last enigmatic notes have faded gracefully away. According to the disc’ s liner notes, there are more chamber works by Plaetner awaiting discovery. Here’ s hoping Dacapo continues what it started here.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.