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Winter Fragments / Unanswered Questions / Ethers Hybrid SACD - DSD

3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, April 10, 2007
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$21.49
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Editorial Reviews


1. Winter Fragments Pour Ensemble Instrumental, Sons De Synthese Et Dispositif Electronique
2. Unanswered Questions Pour Flute
3. Ethers Pour Flute Et Ensemble Instrumental
4. Feuilles A Travers Les Cloches Pour Flute, Violon, Violoncelle Et Piano
5. Le Lac Pour Ensemble

Product Details

  • Performer: Argento Chamber Ensemble, Erin Lesser
  • Conductor: Michel Galante
  • Composer: Tristan Murail
  • Audio CD (April 10, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Aeon
  • ASIN: B000LPRO76
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Tristan Murail (b. 1947) is one of the founders of spectralism, along with Gerard Grisey (1946-1998). Murail, a computer music wizard, worked at IRCAM in the Nineties, and then taught at Columbia University from 1997 to 2011. In 2012 he took a position as professor of composition at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg. The five compositions on this 2007 Aeon disc were recorded in 2003 and 2004 by the NYC-based Argento Chamber ensemble, led by Michel Galante. Erin Lesser is featured on flute.

The title piece, the electro-acoustic "Winter Fragments" (2000 -- 14'06), is the most striking of these quite French pieces, all of which share a cool, inward, meditative aesthetic with lovely, typically sparse textures. According to Pierre Rigaudiere's liner notes, "[i]t is organized primarily on the evolution of a 'very simple melodic cell that is repeated and transformed.'" The opening sounds like a Chinese flute, and the flute is featured throughout along with violin and piano. While transformed by MIDI electronics, the acoustic instruments are clearly audible, punctuated by intense passages of electronic sounds.

Murail, using Diphone, Audiosculpt, Patchwork, Csound, and Max software to create samples triggered by a MIDI keyboard, created 225 different sounds in four classes: inharmonic percussive, noisy flute, bruitist surface, and crystalline sounds, isolated or in cascade. The music itself does not sound nearly that complex, a glittering succession of fascinating textures with plenty of space. The title leads the listener to think of an icy landscape, while the liner notes emphasize "Nature" as a source of inspiration for Murail, reinforcing the inevitable Impression that we have here a clear continuation of Debussy in the French tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The Philadelphia-based Argento Chamber Ensemble and conductor Michael Galante have really taken to the music of Tristan Murail. This Aeon disc from 2007 offers performances of five works.

The first is early, when Murail was still establishing the spectralist school with a circle of other French composers. In "Ethers" for flute and five players (1978) the soloist produces pure tones on everything from a bass flute to a piccolo, and the small ensemble imitates them like a distorted mirror. This would be a great piece were it not for its part for maracas, rather grating. Furthermore, I find the Argento Chamber Ensemble's performance lacks confidence. You'd do better with the Accord disc where the Ensemble L'Itineraire, experts in the spectralist school, give a more solid performance.

We jump ahead nearly two decades to "Unanswered Questions" (1995), a four-minute solo for flute that is performed here by Erin Lesser. It's a slow and mournful piece, written in memory of a composer colleague who died young. Though straightforwardly melodic, Murail introduces harmonics that disrupt the traditional pure tone of the instrument. "Feuilles à travers les cloches" for flute, violin, cello and piano ("Leaves through the Bells", 1998) inverts the title of Debussy's famous "Bells through the Leaves" and sounds just like what you'd expect.

"Le Lac" for ensemble (2001) is inspired by the changing surface of a lake near the composer's home and its soundworld is a mixture of titantic tuttis to randomly distributed pizzicatos and pitched percussion.
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10 of 25 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on August 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
we come to the music of Tristan Murail for beauty and mystery,as French post-modernity seems to nourish the aesthetic object full-tilt,it was never residing in exile as exhibited in other cultures,here for example,USA, the aesthetic has been homogenized,digitalized;the French still bind their cultural objects around some poetic-narrative-image, some temporality of darknessand gesture with cognitive baggage, where the weight of intellectual and cultural history, mostly within the paradigm of Franco-phile dimensions, comes to dominate their work,Proust, Mallarme, Valery, Rimbaud,Poe are all vibrant icons resounding, revolving within aesthetic space;simply flip through art that happens in Paris,it is all strongly ferverently attached to these past temporalities;
Murail worked in "spectra", spectral analysis,overtones,a one time IRCAM pioneer, now residing in NYC,this is a kind of deep penumbral appreciation for fine particles, fragments of timbre, timbre can come to be analyzed with the aid of computer systems, trying to locate 'granular' arborecences "rhizomatic" like associations with harmonic overtone phenomenon, Murail however tries to find an aesthetic equivalent within his music for this theory and has fascinating works on this.
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