This is the second CD release by David Chesworth Ensemble featuring music by Carl Orff
Bonus CD "Extra Serving Suggestions" contains fabulous Orff remixes
"Trombone, strings, piano and tuned percussion combine with crackling telephone transmissions, far-away bells, pan pipes played by the desert wind and barely-in-control electronic effects in a work that is beautiful, vivid, narcotic and seriously habit forming."
The Badlands Suite is based on music from Carl Orff's "Musica Poetica", which David Chesworth heard on the soundtrack for Terrence Malick's film Badlands. Later he found a recording of Orff's Schulwerk, performed by German school children, and loved the uncomplicated nature of the repeating motifs and a certain unnerving quality that reminded him, in some ways, of his own music. Also simmering just below the surface of this music is the suggested though unproven relationship of Orff to the Germany Nazis regime.
These connections to his own music and the suggested darkness that lies just below the surface f this music was strong enough for Chesworth to embark on the reworking of two excerpts from each work, which resulted in "Badlands Suite" composed for the David Chesworth Ensemble.
This CD also contains the "Lacuna Suite", an instrumental version of music originally composed by Chesworth for the opera Lacuna produced in 1992 by Australia’s Chamber Made Opera.
"It's an odd combination. The tonal palette stretches from extreme syrup to squeak: the trombone blares, pianos rumble and the vibraphone plinks. Rousing themes are accompanied by a grumbling undertow or abruptly abandoned, while the piano bumbles like a bee at a windowpane; a searing lament is absorbed by the dinky tinkling of the music box it emerges from. The net effect is strangely euphonious."
The Wire UK
The recording is simple and immediate. Each listening, however, opens the ears to the complex interplay lurking below.
Lacuna Suite is partly derived from musical ideas developed in the Chesworth/Horton opera Lacuna (produced by Chamber Made Opera) written in 1992. The opera depicts various battles between different forms of power and government that have shaped the modern world religious, militaristic, monarchistic and bureaucratic. For the composer, this is rich territory as each of these systems of power has generated its own 'fictional musical culture.' Lacuna Suite explores these coded styles of music.
The work is the result of a number of different compositional strategies, some of which are very old such as the employment of modes and ancient isorhythmic techniques of color and talea (non-synchronous repeated melodic and rhythmic patterns). This is contrasted with a more broad-stroked, instinctive and 'secular' musical style which is suggestive of a folk music tradition.
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