2

Heinz Holliger: Machaut-Transkriptionen

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Heinz Holliger: Machaut-Transkriptionen Over a period spanning eight years (2001-2009) Swiss oboist and composer Heinz Holliger has radically reinterpreted the works of medieval composer and poet Guillaume de Machaut. Holliger calls the resulting disc, Machaut-Transkriptionen "transcriptions" but in fact it is much more than that. By changing rhythmic structures here, time signatures there, even improvising on de Machaut's themes Holliger has created new, modern and even Avant-Garde pieces rooted in 14th century motifs.

Holliger pairs his progressive adaptation of three of de Machaut's secular songs with Hillard Ensemble's exquisite renditions of the originals. For instance the vocal take of "Ballade IV Biaute Qui Toutes Autre Pere" has an exalted almost sacred feel laced with melancholy. Meanwhile in Holliger's variation the unaccompanied trio of violists, Muriel Cantoreggi, Geneviève Strosser and Jürg Dähler, bring out the intriguing inner dissonance of de Machaut's tunes. Their intertwined and resonant soliloquys result in an ethereal and otherworldly ambience.

On the remainder of the album Holliger reimagines de Machaut's compositions in an entirely new context, without sacrificing their thematic core. De Machaut conceived "Lay VII" (Le Lay des Dames) as a monophonic lyrical narrative. Heinz, working only with the Hillard Ensemble, deconstructs it into small melodic fragments and rebuilds it into a luminous mosaic of mellifluous harmonies.

The free flowing, near extemporized "In(ter)ventio a 3" is a stream of consciousness meditation on de Machaut's "Complainte." The violas meander in individual contemplative lines around each other weaving an angular and haunting fantasy. Its somber mood goes from fiery to reserved and melancholic.

Holliger follows this de Machaut's actual pensive poem "Complainte." He brings together all four voices and the three violas and creates a superbly expressive and sublimely emotive polyphony. The atmosphere transforms from edgy angst ridden to darker and more wistful. An almost liturgical solemnity envelops this haunting finale.

Holliger's reassessment of a long forgotten genius' oeuvre certainly makes for a demanding listening experience. Nevertheless it is a captivating record that is immensely rewarding both intellectually as well as aurally. This splendid release is a testament of the timelessness of music.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Heinz Holliger: composer; Muriel Cantoreggi: viola; Geneviève Strosser: viola; Jürg Dähler: viola; The Hilliard Ensemble David James: countertenor; Rogers Covey- Crump:tenor; Steven Harrold:tenor; Gordon Jones: baritone.

Title: Machaut-Transkriptionen | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Velcro Bird" CD/LP/Track Review Velcro Bird
by John Eyles
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear...
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.