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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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: 8/16/2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313234325
  • Catalog Number: 8557343
  • Sales rank: 388,089

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–2 No-res (Nothing), a symphonic tragedy for narrator, chorus, orchestra & tape - Leonardo Balada & Jean Paris (40:04)
  2. 3–6 Ebony Fantasies, cantata - Leonardo Balada & Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra (25:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
José Ramón Encinar Primary Artist
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