Sunday, October 30, 2016

Horia Surianu - Saxophone Concerto for Sopranino, Soprano Saxophones & Orchestra - Esquisse pour un Clair-Obscur - Daniel Kientzy, Saxophones - Ensemble Archæus - Orchestre de Chambre de la Radio Nationale de Roumanie, Neil Thomson - NovaMusica 2001

Hello everyone. The week/weekend has been busy, and what with my atrocious upload speeds, I will likely only be posting two offerings for tonight. Going to start off with a recording that is nothing if not the intriguing nugget by a Romanian composer you should know about.

The obscure Romanian composer and musicologist Horia Surianu was born on July 3rd, 1952 in Timişoara. He studied initially at the Bucharest Conservatory (National University of Music Bucharest). In 1983 Surianu moved to France where he is professor of composition, harmonics and analysis at the Conservatory of Bagnolet as well as "professeur associé" at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Horia Surianu during an interview for Radio Romania

Surianu's compositions include symphonic music, chamber music, music for ballet, theater and film, choral music as well as electronic music. His music has (apparently..) been broadcasted on the radio as well as (apparently..) played at concerts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cuba, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Poland, United Kingdom, Romania, United States, Slovakia, and the Netherlands. (Somehow I can't imagine that Cuba or the States in particular have had any real exposure to his work)

His musical style varies quite a bit although influences of neo-modernism and spectral music are often to be found. The Saxophone Concerto features the sopranino, which is higher than a soprano saxophone and the opening showcases it's qualities wonderfully; sudden frenetic squeals fill the air and remind one of Rumanian gypsy music or the cackling clarinet of a village klezmorim. The concerto comprises three movements played without interruption (fast-slow-fast) and is symmetrically framed by a structure acting as both introduction and coda. The concerto stemmed from the idea of evoking the sound of a traditional instrument called the "taragot", peculiar to a region situated in Eastern Europe, Banat, that extends from western Romania to eastern Yugoslavia. The instrument, part saxophone, part clarinet, is capable of articulating musical structures of very great virtuosity or delicate lyricism, states of play that the concerto seeks to translate by a stylized vision of sound material emerging from a world of modality while also evoking the traditional structures of this region with its rich cultural potential, yet without limiting itself to this.

"Esquisse pour un Clair-Obscur" is scored for soprano saxophone and an ensemble consisting of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano and projects a dialectic in sound of consonance and dissonance as defined by a process of harmonic transformation. Owing to varied forms of expansion or compression of the material and to the use of micro-intervals, the harmonic structure (transformable) enables the formation of areas of light and shade that interact in an almost continuous penumbra, hence the reference to "Clair-Obscur" (chiaroscuro); the art of nuances on a dark background creates that effect of diffused light so magnificently achieved by the Flemish masters.

-The file is rather small as the entire duration of the disc is but 26 minutes (!)

Enjoy everyone!

Do also check out Surianu's beautiful Double Concerto for Flute and Piccolo:


theblueamos said...

It isn"t the length that counts,after all,thank you from Jerusalem. Be well !

Johann said...

Such a wonderful discovery, thank you much!!

Manuel said...

Muchas gracias!!

Anonymous said...

please post every music this composer has make very soon