30 January 2007

Xenakis: Thallein

Thallein (1984): For Fourteen instruments. Again enigmatic - dull, thin beginning half, that then becomes a rather perky strange melody ala Varese with sme nice sort of planing of the ensemble - that is the various sections play off against each other, almost as if they were unaware of each other ending in string glissandos. It almost feels like Xenakis was fishing around for something to write and then came upon something. The title means "to sprout." I could be taken aback by the poor quality of the Neuma recording, I recall hearing a performance a long time ago with the Callithumpian Consort at NEC that was riveting. I am however still impressed with Xenakis' idiomatic, yet novel writing for percussion, the use of the toms, bongos and wood blocks are well gradiated and dramatically sensitive.

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