Warsaw Autumn 2006 – IV

Today we woke up and headed over to hear the Ensemble Phoenix perform a number of pieces for their instrumentation (flute, piano, string bass, percussion) at the Academy of Music.  The program for today was rearranged and they swapped out a piece; the program was:

  • Zbigniew Baginski – Circulations
  • Gerard Grisey – Echanges
  • Alex Buess – Khat
  • Beat Fuhrer – Presto for Flute and Piano
  • Michel Roth – Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd

Some notes on the pieces:

Baginski – nice use of percussion, piano was mostly rhythmic chords, beautiful quiet writing, nice flute melodies, nice use of back of bow on bass strings, the more energetic writing was filled with very short gestures, a very well shaped piece, nice balance of material and contrast, performed very well, very nice piece!

Grisey- not my favorite Grisey piece, a bit spastic, lots of extended playing techniques, nicely performed though but the piece itself is not one I am much into

Buess- flute, percussion, live electronics; electronics seemed to be there to make things REALLY loud; sounded like a child first time playing flute, overblowing and playing the same three notes over and over again, percussion was frantic, did not find myself into this piece

*Intermission*

Beat Fuhrer – Presto for Flute and Piano – hyper active, rapid gestures, couldn’t hear the sound of flute but a wash of sound, reminded me of electronic blips and bleeps

Roth – constantly filled, angular and maximized off-beat rhythms, used just about every percussion instrument and effect, piano often written like percussion, very gestural

Of the pieces I found I had the most impression from the Baginski piece (I do like a lot of the music of the older Polish generation…).  I think that the rest of the music were just not my cup of tea; not to say it was badly done or badly written, but perhaps just after something different than where I have my attention to these days. It’s a very good ensemble and was glad to have attended their performance.

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