L. Andriessen Rosa: Death of a Composer

Rating 4.5
2 ratings
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Format: CD  (2 Discs)
Item:  NNS 79559
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CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Released: May 16, 2000
  • Label: Nonesuch

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.Overture
  • 2.Scene 1
  • 3.Scene 2
  • 4.Scene 3
  • 5.Scene 4
  • 6.Scene 5

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.Scene 6
  • 2.Scene 7
  • 3.Scene 8
  • 4.Scene 9
  • 5.Scene 10
  • 6.Scene 11
  • 7.Scene 12
  • 8.The Index Singer (Fragment)

Product Description:

Certain composers have suffered rather weird fates, from Lully's lethal foot infection--he jabbed it while beating time--to the accidental shooting of Anton Webern (or was it a murder conspiracy?). That fact is just one of the many seeds that have germinated into the fictional case (re)presented in Rosa: The Death of a Composer, the first in the ongoing series of collaborations between leading Dutch avant-garde composer Louis Andriessen and director-librettist Peter Greenaway. The result is a Chinese box-like dramaturgy, many-tiered, self-referential, and frankly too complex to summarize handily but which involves hippophilia, an abusive relationship, geometric obsessions, multiple nudity, old-fashioned Westerns, and art's slippery, illusory nature. Greenaway has in fact created a film from the original 1994 stage production--but even without its stylized bleed of visuals and streaming text, the bizarrely arresting quality of this one-of-a-kind opera comes across on Nonesuch's premiere recording. Andriessen's score is a fascinating melange of nervous minimalism--preempting the style's tendency toward predictability--fierce Stravinskian rhythmic displacements, frosty harmonies that gather like a miasma, and half-jazz, half high-opera vocalism. Most impressive of all is how Andriessen avoids the kind of standard-issue postmodern pastiche that's the usual payoff but instead actually creates a believable sound world for the story's unique mix of parody and menace. Longtime Andriessen interpreters Reinbert de Leeuw and the Schönberg Ensemble give the score a biting, disturbing edge, while Marie Angel surmounts the outrageous demands (not just vocal) made on her without faltering. The anti-romantic Andriessen is a seriously undervalued composer--he lacks the star power of Glass or Reich--but his intensely probing visions of music and its place in culture (as in De Materie) open labyrinths of discovery. --Thomas May

Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.5
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Product Info:

  • UPC: 075597955927
  • Shipping Weight: 0.49/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 2 items


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