Magazine article Gramophone

Ensemble XX Jahrhundert Take the Pulse of Viennese Music

Magazine article Gramophone

Ensemble XX Jahrhundert Take the Pulse of Viennese Music

Article excerpt

'21st Century Portraits' Nussbichler Schattenspiele IV: jeu de mime Ofenbauer Kommt Sirenen klagt Seidelmann Skulptur I (Mobile) Stankovski Spiegel--Maske--Gesicht M Wang Schwebende Fragmente II Ensemble XX Jahrhundert Capriccio [F] C5171 (62' * DDD) Recorded live at 3raum-anatomietheater, Vienna. 2011-12

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Ensemble XX Jahrhundert has operated out of Vienna since 1971, the group's core mission to champion Schoenberg, Webern and Berg gradually broadening over the years to incorporate music by the likes of Steve Reich, Vinko Globokar and jazzman Franz Koglmann and, needless to say, new commissions from emerging voices. From the evidence of the five composers represented on this portrait disc, the ensemble favours a definite sort of composer profile. I know that ensembles and new music organisations are usually reluctant to engage with the idea that they have a house style but, in this case, it's a sign of artistic confidence and strength. The col legno expressionistic strings and rude structural shocks of Schwebende Fragmente II (2011) by the Taiwanese composer Ming Wang set the tone. …

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