By Zeitkratzer director Reinhold Friedl's personal request now available on vinyl for the first time: Zeitkratzer's critically acclaimed interpretations of groundbreaking compositions by James Tenney.
James Tenney (1934 - 2006) was a composer, music theorist and pioneer especially in the field of microtonal music, being an influential part of the so-called New York avantgarde scene (Cage, Feldman). Besides his compositonal work, Tenney was teacher at various universities with students like Charlemagne Palestine, Carl Stone or Catherine Lamb, and a close friend with Eliane Radigue. This album by Zeitkratzer presents three compostions by Tenney whose music has been part of zeitkratzer's repertoire since their beginning: # "Critical Band" – Tenney's late classic – with maximum clarity and precision of bearing tone rhythms and microtonal tuning as light effect. # the first recording of "Harmonium #2". Both works demonstrate the remarkable power and resplendent sharpness which Tenney achieved with his microtonal settings. # "Koan: Having Never Written A Note For Percussion" is an orgiastic listening experience in the form of a huge crescendo on a tam-tam - from whispering to singing, culminating in shrill roaring and blustering – and it's dark decay.
'The intelligence of the ensemble’s interpretations evinces their long-term engagement with these complex pieces, as well as a willingness to interrogate and re-examine them, just as the in-the-moment decisions the work demand clearly marries well with the individual member’s backgrounds in improvisation. The rigour and discipline they collectively bring to these compositions make both discs utterly enthralling, from start to finish.' - The Wire Magazine, UK, 04/2010
'For those unfamiliar with either of these modern American composers, their performance of three of Tenney’s ‘swell pieces’ is probably the best place to start.' - Rockarolla, UK, 04/2010
'The epithet sounds flippant and self-defeating, all the more so given how absolutely contemporary Tenney and Cage’s works sound here, due in no small part to the power and skill of the ensemble’s interpretations.' - The Wire Magazine, UK, 04/2010
zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl
Frank Gratkowski < clarinet || Hayden Chisholm < alto saxophone || Matt Davis < trumpet || Hilary Jeffery < trombone || Reinhold Friedl < piano || Maurice de Martin < percussion || Burkhard Schlothauer < violin || Anton Lukoszevieze < cello || Uli Phillipp < doublebass || Ralf Meinz < sound ||
recorded live at Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg, October 3, 2009
recorded and mixed by Ralf Meinz and Reinhold Friedl, produced by Reinhold Friedl