Aperghis, Hidalgo, Ronchetti, Berio, Perezzani & Bauckholt

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Aperghis,Berio,Hidalgo,Perezzani & Bauckholt,Ronchetti
LABELS: Stradivarius Times Future
ALBUM TITLE: Alles Theater!
WORKS: Works by Aperghis, Hidalgo, Ronchetti, Berio, Perezzani & Bauckholt
PERFORMER: Stuttgart New Vocal Soloists
‘Everything is theatre’ here, certainly, but there’s no missing dimension of staging: the drama’s created by voices alone, singing and speaking, and frequently deconstructing the chosen text – an approach pioneered in Berio’s classic solo Sequenza. In Petrrohl, the music-theatre veteran Georges Aperghis constructs a six-voice fantasy around the world of the schizophrenic artist Adolf Wölfli. Manuel Hidalgo’s Cuatro citas de Juan Goytisolo treats texts about the difficulties of the artist’s life in speech counterpointed with song, the ‘mixed medium’ also of Paolo Perezzani’s homage to Samuel Beckett. Lucia Ronchetti’s Anatra al sal emulates the Renaissance madrigal comedy with an account of the preparation of ‘duck with salt’ by five singing cooks, each restricted to a single vowel, and a more versatile assistant. Carola Bauckholt’s nein allein also raises laughter with a sung five-way Euro-conversation using everyday expressions, some four-letter words among them. English-speaking listeners won’t get much help from the booklet, with a note (and translation) seemingly intended to impress more than explain, and texts in their original languages only. But the recording is beautifully clear and inviting. And the performances by the Stuttgart singers are quite stunning, with total command of extended vocal techniques, and an extraordinary precision of pitch and rhythm even in extremes of register. Their virtuosity makes the disc well worth hearing. Anthony Burton