Saturday, September 1, 2007

Asmus Tietchens - Notturno

from Vital Weekly # 581:

Back in the day Asmus Tietchens once declared that none of his LPs were to be released on CDs and that he made two exceptions, 'Zwinburgen des Hedonismus/Marches Funebres' and 'Notturno'. In the first edition of his "Monographie' we read (page 126) that he 'owed him something' - the him being the person that ran Barooni, the label who made the CD version of 'Notturno' in 1992. Whatever that something was, I forgot to ask back when Mister Barooni and I met up frequently during office hours and these days I rarely bump into Mister Barooni (he moves in different circles I guess). Following 'Formen Letzter Hausmusik' and 'Hydrophonie', 'Notturno' was the third 'serious' attempt in composing more serious electro-acoustic music, and Tietchens limits himself to using the (grand) piano.
In a good tradition, say starting with Cage's prepared piano, Tietchens treats the inside and outside of the piano with objects, like an electric gastr beater, wire brush, coins and others, but unlike Cage it's for Tietchens only a starting point.
The recordings are processed in the studio, in no doubt true Tietchens style. Looping the sounds around, filtering through sound effects and synthesizers, after which they finally find their form in neatly constructed pieces of music.
To use loops as to the extent that Tietchens does is something that sets him aside from the regular musique concrete composers. At the time for many, yours truly included, this was the first introduction to the more academic music, while now, we hear a record that is certainly a great one but perhaps not so academic as we thought back then.
'Notturno' is one the best Tietchens works that one can encounter and the mastering is much improved over the first edition on CD. While many seem to think that Tietchens music is quite distant and cold, 'Notturno' combines playful melodies and sturdy processing of the material. Certainly one to get if you are only remotely interested in his work.
(Frans de Waard)

Label: Die Stadt
Cat. #: DS102
Format: CD
Release date: 2007

01 - Dritte Studie Fur Klavier (6:19)
02 - Vierte Studie Fur Klavier (5:47)
03 - Studie Fur Henry (6:05)
04 - Halbe Tanzmusik (2:14)
05 - Drei Beisetzungen In Wien (4:44)
06 - Die Kramer Im Tempel (3:20)
07 - Funfte Studie Fur Klavier (4:28)
08 - Zweite Studie Fur Klavier (7:46)
09 - Siebte Studie Fur Klavier (4:31)
10 - Ein Leben Geht Zu Ende (9:12)

Asmus Tietchens
Die Stadt

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