Magazine article Gramophone

Khorkova: Collision

Magazine article Gramophone

Khorkova: Collision

Article excerpt

Khorkova

Collision. klangNarbe. a_priori. VORderGRENZE. String Quartet. Beschworung durch Lachen Ensemble Ascolta / Michael Wendeberg; Trio Accanto; Kairos Quartet Wergo (B) (2) WER6418-2 (93' * DDD)

The music of the Russian composer Marina Khorkova mines the idiom associated with Helmut Lachenmann and developed by Mark Andre and other German-based composers. Characterised by the use of extended instrumental techniques and a general avoidance of pitched notes, it is an idiom Lachenmann calls 'musique concrete instrumentale'; hence, when listening to recordings, we are often in the dark as to the instrumental sources of the unusual sounds heard.

Khorkova's debut album displays the hallmarks of this style. The opener, Collision, features (according to the booklet-notes) chains rattling, an egg whisk on an electric guitar and ping-pong balls hobbling, while klangNarbe presents a baritone saxophone player growling, a potato peeler being plucked and a Russian doll used as a chime. None of it ever feels gratuitous, though: detailed preliminary acoustical research and well-conceived forms mean that Khorkova's inventive sonorities are channelled into creating compelling, dramatic works. …

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