Pintscher Violin, Orchestra & Electronics Works
A leading figure of the younger generation, Matthias Pintscher evinces an intelligence that gives his music cohesion and inevitability - the works here charting a course over the early years of this century towards greater formal clarity and expressive directness. Certainly Tenebrae pursues a rarefied interplay between viola (its lower register given subtle electronic enhancement) and ensemble that rarely coalesces into a larger or more substantial dialogue. Christophe Desjardins is unfazed by music that inhabits the margins of the perceivable and which, as with en sourdine, is not a concerto in any overt sense. Here, the soloist threads his way through an instrumental fabric spare and inward-looking. Brief tuttis stand out within such timbral and textural finesse, yet the work's overall continuity is always apparent - aided by a dedicated response from Frank Peter Zimmermann.
A concerto in all but name, Reflections on Narcissus packs a great deal into 35 minutes. Its five continuous “reflections” outline a distinct arch: the fugitive initial section gives rise to an aggressive confrontation, followed by an intricate series of “recitatives”, then an even more explosive encounter which silences the soloist, before the final section brings less reconciliation than resignation. How this relates to the legend is left open, but the emotional trajectory is amply sustained by the music and rendered with unassuming authority by Truls Mørk. The live and studio recordings do the performances full justice, and Thomas Schäfer offers some pertinent observations on Pintscher's music. Those yet to make its acquaintance should do so here.