Magazine article Gramophone

Glanert: Elysion. String Quartet No 2, Pas De Quatre'

Magazine article Gramophone

Glanert: Elysion. String Quartet No 2, Pas De Quatre'

Article excerpt

Glanert

Elysion. String Quartet No 2, Pas de quatre'. Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. Noctambule. Enigmatische Landschaft. Tanzende Landschaft Gerald Hacke c/ Ulriche Nahmmacher, Martin Roth, Liviu Neagu-Gruber, Axel Hess vns Nora Niggeling, Jens Brockmann vas Susanne MullerHornbach, Michael Hablitzel vcs Florence Millet, Holger Groschopp, Majella Stockhausen pfs Cybele/Cragg Foundation (F) CF002 (67' * DDD)

Detlev Glanert matured under the tutelage of Henze, and in three of the six works here he pays homage to his old teacher. In some ways Glanert adopted Henze's career template--he lived in Italy for some years, writes in a Bergian post-tonal style and is Germany's most often performed living opera composer--so the salute is unsurprising. Unfortunately, the results are decidedly lukewarm.

Elysion (2012) is the strongest work here, a three-movement piano quartet composed after Henze's death (the title alludes to the Elysian Fields). Tradition is the watchword, and the discourse abounds in deft counterpoint and tonal inflections; the influence of Glanert's music for solo voice, too, is clear in the lyrical cantabile phrasing on violin. Pas de quatre (2005-06), Glanert's Second String Quartet, is based on four musical archetypes that Glanert associates with his mentor (scream, song, dance and escape). Despite a promising start and technically accomplished motivic development, the diverse parts never achieve a greater whole. More successful is the limpid Enigmatic Landscape (2001) for two pianos, all bobbing ostinatos and shimmering chords, an Apollonian rendering of the sun-kissed Italian landscape where Henze lived. …

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