WORKS: Nono: No hay caminos, hay que caminar… Andrei Tarkovsky; Kurtag: Samuel Beckett – What is the Word, Op.30b; Furrer: Face de la chaleur; Rihm: bildos/weglos
PERFORMER: Ildikó Monyók (reciter), Annet Zaire (soprano), Wissam Boustany (flute), Ernesto Molinari (clarinet), Thomas Larcher (piano) Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Ensemble Anton Webern/Claudio Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 437 840-2
It’s over six years since DG issued a disc of Abbado conducting Boulez, Ligeti, Rihm and Nono entitled ‘Wien Modern’. This second is optimistically labelled ‘Wien Modern II’ (a third including music by the not obviously Viennese Dallapiccola, Henze and Xenakis is to follow) and comprises four works inspired by the late Andrei Tarkovsky which absorbingly capture something of the fractured beauty of this great director’s cinematic art.
All four fly the flag of European modernism with no hint of apology but with plenty of individuality, and even the slightest piece, Beat Furrer’s delicately flickering Face de la chaleur, makes its mark. The earliest, dating from 1987, is ‘No hay caminos, hay que caminar… Andrej Tarkovskij’, a typical example of Nono’s rarified late manner, as it explores in microscopic detail the reverberative power and dramatic potential of a single note.
That it can sustain such wildly divergent readings as Abbado’s 16 minutes and Michael Gielen’s 24 on an indispensable all-Nono disc (on Auvidis-Astreé E 8741) is proof enough of the sure foundations on which Nono’s art was built. As, of course, are those of György Kurtág, whose Samuel Beckett – What is the Word? provides the perfect musical complement to Beckett’s final meditation on the meaning of meaning and is delivered with appropriately world-weary and often blood-curdling authority by Ildikó Monyók, the temporarily speech-deprived actress for whom it was written. Antony Bye