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Iannis Xenakis

Percussion Works (3CD)

Label: Mode

Format: CDx3 in box

Genre: Compositional

Out of stock

Performed by the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, directed by Steven Schick. "The first complete set of Xenakis' percussion ensemble, percussion duos, and solo percussion works. As Steven Schick states in his comprehensive essay accompanying this set, Xenakis was the 'progenitor of modern percussion music.' Of course, Iannis Xenakis did not create percussion music, his first major contribution to the percussion repertory came more than three decades after the American percussion revolution of Edgard Varèse, John Cage and Henry Cowell. But as Jorge Luis Borges said of Kafka, he was so important that he influenced even those who came before him. Indeed, our early 21st century ear for percussion music has been so tuned by the music of Xenakis that we cannot fail to understand the first cacophonous noise constructions of Varèse's 'Ionisation' (1931) and Cage's 'First Construction' (1939) through the retro-lens of the raw and terrifying noises in Xenakis' percussion works. 24-bit audiophile recordings. Available as a 3CD set or specially priced single DVD-A release (forthcoming)."

Iannis Xenakis's music is elemental, antiRomantic, architectural, ritualistic, dispassionate. It is also deeply poetic, its emotional power vast, as the nine works recorded here testify. For ensemble, there's the raw, aggressive drama of Persephassa (1969) and the static, beautiful Pléïades (1978). For solo percussionist, there are the complex, thrillingly technical challenges of Psappha (1975) and Rebonds (1989). Perhaps most impressive of all, there's the ritual drama of Kassandra (1987), where the voice of Philip Larson conveys an increasingly furious frustration. All is driven by the energy and musicianship of Steven Schick, who plays the solo pieces and directs the six percussionists of Red Fish Blue Fish.
--- Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, 11 February 2007

Details
Cat. number: mode 171/173
Year: 2006

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