Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Gerhard Stabler's Modern String Orchestra Work "Zeichen"
Post 509. Who's counting really? I did neglect to note post 500, though. So we mark the progression at this juncture. The blogs do in part document my personal odyssey through the world of "serious" music today and I have come out of it thus far with a profound respect and appreciation for those artists and their institutional supporters and abettors who trudge onward in spite of all obstacles. This time we live in may not be ideal for the music makers of substance. But I believe it will be seen as an important, creative epoch in terms of musical results. Much worthy music is coming into the world, like orphans abandoned at the doorsteps of foundling-homes in times where there may be little sympathy at large for the abundance of unwanted guests. So here's to the creators and their helpmates. May they prosper! And to that dedicated group of listeners, you readers! You make it possible.
Gerhard Stabler comes center stage now, one of those creators of note in the world we speak of. His Zeichen (Navona 5839) is a twenty-minute EP devoted to an interesting work (of the same name) for string orchestra (capably performed by the Moravian Philharmonic under Vit Micka).
His composition has the singularity of high modernist aesthetics reworked and rethought for the present-day sensibility. That means to say that his string writing takes advantage of the innovations in sectional string-sound production once considered experimental. The orchestra executes passages played with the stick side of the bow, plus more conventional bowing techniques but at the fingerboard or at the bridge. This gives the three movement work a greater variety of sound color and timbre.
The disk comes with enhancements, including a detailed booklet and several of Stabler's scores.
Aside from that Stabler's work has the appeal of sonic sensuality and creative sound narrative flow. It is a work that will certainly give the modernist contingent of listeners much satisfaction. That includes me.