LENTZ Ending(s)

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: New World

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: NW80815

NW80815. LENTZ Ending(s)

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Continental Divide Nicholas Deyoe
Twilight String Orchestra
Ending(s) Twilight String Orchestra
Nicholas Deyoe
Fahad Siadat

There’s no need to pigeonhole Daniel Lentz’s compositional aesthetic. He has traversed an array of styles throughout his productive career, from electronic and pop ventures to minimalism and works that embrace varied cultures. The two pieces on this disc are expansive, almost in the manner of tone poems, with ample descriptive writing and, in the case of the recording’s eponymous Ending(s), the incorporation of sung texts.

The opening work, Continental Divide, is scored for string orchestra and begins in elegiac fashion, with long, Mahlerian lines and upward motifs that attain ethereal, hopeful, occasionally Coplandesque majesty. The terrain changes throughout, embracing jaunty country fiddling and bits of minimalist animation amid philosophical viola solos and the juxtaposition of exultancy and yearning. It is a deeply affecting creation, and played to the expressive hilt by the Los Angeles-based Twilight String Orchestra under Nicholas Deyoe.

Ending(s), as JM Alexander’s illuminating programme note suggests, ‘is protest music at its best, music that champions life over those things that try to rip apart the fabric of the country, the society, the self’. That would seem a formidable challenge to depict for any artist, but Lentz’s alternation of slow downward chords, violent tremolos, slithering figures and powerful verse settings keep the narrative in propulsive focus. Two of the texts are haiku, one by Yasuhiko Shigemoto, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, and the other, about the ephemerality of life, by the 16th-century poet Ôuchi Yoshitaka. The performing forces are double string quintet and vocalist, here the vibrant Fahad Siadat, who makes the most of the harrowing words, whether in English or Latin.

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