Album Review

Aldo Clementi “Punctum Contra Punctum” [Die Schachtel]

cujo   5/16/2006   A Library, CD

Move over, Muzio. There’s a new Clementi in town. An 80th birthday present to Aldo from the G.A.M.O ensemble, recorded and packaged by Die Schachtel.

1. Concerto: A deconstructed and reassembled bit of Schumann, rendered totally unrecognizable as an ‘infinite mosaic? of fragments. Calling this a piano concerto is misleading – is there interplay between soloist and ensemble? If they’re not playing the Schumann bits, what strangely insistent accompaniment are they playing?

2. GiAn(ca)rlo CArDini: An uber-canon, too much information to process really, based on the pianist Cardini’s musical signature (GACAD. Think BACH, ABEGG, DSCH for other famous examples), performed on a prepared piano. At times (when the voices in the canon allow), the signature reminds Cardini of ‘I Got Rhythm?, and when it does he starts singing along with the music!

3. Fantasia su roBErto FABbriCiAni: My pick. For flute and electronics, with lots of live sampling. The soloist gradually melts into a whitewashed wall of satured flute sounds.

4. Parafrasi. You know at the very end of Holst’s Planets, when the hidden female choir sings wordlessly into the sunset? This sounds like a few seconds of that mood stretched to 20 minutes; it teeters between ethereal and maddening (I change my mind at least 4 times each listening). Constructed with a computer; it would be hard to convince a choir to sing this.

-Cujo, KFJC, May 2006

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