Album Review

Reijseger, Ernst / Herzog, Werner – “Requiem For a Dying Planet ” – [Winter & Winter]

Thurston Hunger   2/1/2007   CD, Soundtrack

Renowned shoe-eater Werner Herzog has an eclectic ear to match his eye.
Ernst Reijseger hopefully is no stranger to KFJC faithful, he is an
utterly remarkable cellist, who has turned out to be a deeply moving
composer. His sympathetic strings here are not alone but paired with the
power drone of Sardinian shepherd notes floating. Tenores di Bitti were
a hit in days gone by, and the Voches de Sardinna here have that same
earth-vibrating barbershop buzz, and then Ernst adds a great connection
from cello to choir to striking Sengalese cry song. Clearly the world
is in pain, but then there are moments when the acid rain and consumptive
reign abate as on “Sanctus” and a clear sky of peace is filled with grace
by the mighty wind of Mola Sylla. Reijseger’s cello is in such human
harmony with the voices here it probes the depths of the soul. Add in
some earthy elements of hope: magic gourds and the pluck of the spirit
via m’bira, and this often feels more like redemption than a requiem.
Although “Bad News from Outer Space” has Ernst’s cello playing the alien
snake in the cricket-laden garden of Eden. “Mura/Ballu Turturinu” starts
off with strident cadence, Ernst pushes them up a hill towards a cliff,
precarious but when the Ballu part arrives, it’s hard not to feel a sort
primal joy. It’s almost like the music focuses on a fantastic spider web,
intricate, ordered and beautiful; while (I suspect) the film watches the
spider and its venom. I’ve not seen these Herzog films but many others…
these two, I would watch blind.

Yours for a better world (and music such as this makes it so)…
-Thurston Hunger

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