Leonardo Balada: No-res (Nothing) - An Agnostic Requiem; Ebony Fantasies

Leonardo Balada: No-res (Nothing) - An Agnostic Requiem; Ebony Fantasies

by José Ramón Encinar
     
 

Leonardo Balada composed "No-Res" (Nothing) for narrator, chorus, orchestra, and tape (1974) in memory of his mother; yet as an agnostic lacking a belief in survival after death, he designed this avant-garde, secular Requiem to express rage and sorrow over the loss of a finite life, rather than reflect hopeful expectations of immortality. Since anguish is the dominant… See more details below

Overview

Leonardo Balada composed "No-Res" (Nothing) for narrator, chorus, orchestra, and tape (1974) in memory of his mother; yet as an agnostic lacking a belief in survival after death, he designed this avant-garde, secular Requiem to express rage and sorrow over the loss of a finite life, rather than reflect hopeful expectations of immortality. Since anguish is the dominant tone of this piece, the collage of spoken words, sung, shouted, and whispered choral passages, dissonant orchestral overlays and startling taped effects can be quite distressing to hear and depressing to comprehend. Narrator Denis Rafter and the Chorus and Orchestra of the Comunidad de Madrid, conducted by José Ramón Encinar, deliver a gut-wrenching and sometimes creepy performance, and vividly render the harsh sonorities that convey Balada's grim view of death. Yet this piece is dated by its chaotic mayhem, and some listeners will be reminded of Luciano Berio's "Sinfonia," which seems like an obvious model for Balada's much less successful and unpleasant work. "Ebony Fantasies -- Cantata" (2003), which is based on four African-American spirituals, brings welcome relief after the unrelieved gloom of "No-Res"; and though Balada's language has a modernist edge in these free settings, the music is largely tonal and accessible because of the familiarity of the themes. Naxos provides exceptional sound quality.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/16/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313234325
catalogNumber:
8557343
Rank:
276882

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. No-res (Nothing), a symphonic tragedy for narrator, chorus, orchestra & tape  - Leonardo Balada  - Jean Paris  -  Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra  - José Ramón Encinar  - Cristina Moreno  -  Chorus of the Comunidad Madrid  - Denis Rafter
  2. Ebony Fantasies, cantata  - Leonardo Balada  -  Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra  - José Ramón Encinar  - Cristina Moreno  -  Chorus of the Comunidad Madrid

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