Friday, October 19, 2012

Brian Ferneyhough: Terrain

"His works, it is often said, are the ne plus ultra of musical complexity, in the sense of notational overload, performing difficulty and even philosophical questioning. He is even, supposedly, one of the godfathers of 'New Complexity', although he rejects the term. ... What we're getting as listeners is a trace of the score the performer is playing from, which is in turn only a trace of the musical work that Ferneyhough has imagined. And yet, because of the ferocity of concentration on the part of the musician, and because of the range and imagination of what you hear, what you actually get when you hear a performance of his music is something definitive, direct and undeniable – a sheer thrill of musical extremity. ... All of that is a sort of gigantic upbeat to your own exploration of Ferneyhough's music. Get stuck into his works for solo instruments or chamber ensemble. There's also an unclassifiable music-theatre piece on Walter Benjamin called Shadowtime; there are those gigantically ambitious orchestral pieces, including the most recent, Plötzlichkeit; and there are some brilliant large ensemble pieces that grab you by the scruff of the neck and don't let go. Try the Carceri d'Invenzione pieces, or one of my favourites, Terrain, a kind of uber-violin concerto" (Tom Service, "A Guide to Brian Ferneyhough's Music," The Guardian, 9/10/12).

View catalog record here!


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