Die ungebornen Enkel* (The Unborn Grandchildren); The Secret Garden of the Cordania
*Irina Jae-Eun Park (soprano), *Nutthaporn Thammathi (tenor), Johannes Moser (electric cello), Fabrice Bollon (electronics)
Naxos 8.574456 69:42 mins
Acclaimed conductor Fabrice Bollon has more recently established himself as a composer of distinction. His intriguing and inventive new song cycle, Die ungebornen Enkel (‘The Unborn Grandchildren’), sets poetry by Austrian Expressionist Georg Trakl (1887-1914) and breathes new life into these poems of love, melancholy, ecstasy and folly.
Bollon scores the work for the unusual combination of soprano, tenor and electric cello, thus continuing his longstanding collaboration with the experimental cellist Johannes Moser. From these minimal forces, Bollon draws an impressive range of sonorities, enhanced and expanded by multi-track techniques. His musical language moves from late-Romantic tonal harmonies to inflections of jazz and rock, and the work as a whole simmers with an arresting and unsettling energy.
Moser responds with aplomb to the demands of this intensely atmospheric score, particularly in the various solo ‘intermezzo’ movements. The singing, too, is excellent; both soprano Irina Jae-Eun Park and tenor Nutthaporn Thammathi bring impeccable clarity and assurance throughout.
The disc is completed by The Secret Garden of the Cordania (2014) for solo electric cello, dedicated to the composer’s cellist wife. The work shifts between dreamy soundscapes, soaring melodies and skittering moto perpetuo figuration, and provides further insight into the creative possibilities of this intriguing modern instrument.