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Dacapo - Danmarks Nationale Musikantologi

Format:  CD

Katalognummer:  8.226028

Stregkode:  636943602829

Udgivelsesdato:  Oct 2009

Periode:  21. århundrede


Poul Ruders: Four Dances

01 April 2010  www.allmusic.com
Uncle Dave Lewis

DaCapo's Poul Ruders: Four Dances features the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under the direction of Oliver Knussen in a program of three Ruders chamber orchestra works, including one premiere, Abysm (2000); the others are Four Dances in One Movement (1983) and Nightshade (1987). Both Abysm and Nightshade were written for the BCMG and Four Dances in One Movement for the London Sinfonietta when Knussen led it. Although not as famous as his opera The Handmaid's Tale or his Solar Trilogy for orchestra, Four Dances in One Movement is viewed as being an emblematic work in Ruders' canon and represents something of a breakthrough for him. Its opening movements -- "Whispering" and "Rocking" -- are mysterious, restrained, and aren't likely to make you get up out of your seat and start dancing, but the latter two -- "Ecstatic" and "Extravagant" -- do have a lot of movement in them. It has been observed before that Ruders' fluctuation between introverted and extroverted ideas, and this work is almost a poster child for that process; the opening of "Whispering" is no more than a solo clarinet line and the conclusion of the work has the whole ensemble going full bore. Nightshade, however, is one from the chasms of darkness, a nine-minute movement at a consistent tempo and exercising a somewhat painterly application to the instrumental sounds in the work, building up a landscape of distant menace. Although Abysm is the newest piece represented on the disc, in a way it seems the best of these three, a totally gripping drama that plays out like an Edvard Munch tableaux and calls for top-drawer instrumental ability. Thankfully, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group -- originally organized in 1987 by Simon Rattle -- have such qualities in abundance and DaCapo's recording is dead to rights in representing both the ensemble and this music in exactly the ambience it needs. Fans of Ruders or challenging contemporary music in general, are encouraged to snap this one up.

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