By Auryn-Quartett, Braun, Davies, Mockridge, Philharmonischer Chor der Stadt Bonn, and Philharmonisches Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn. By Michael Denhoff. Listening CD. Wergo #WER 65142. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-65142).
Denhoff's diverse "settings" transmute artistic expression from one medium to another. It is these intermediate realms between the arts which he exploits, the expressive possibilities of associations and translations. Perhaps this is nowhere more evident than in his cycle â€œTraumbuch eines Gefangenenâ€ (Dream Book of a Prisoner), after texts by Horst Bienek. The subtitle alone - "oratorical scenes" - suggests an historical ambience which underscores the work's scope. For death, torture and imprisonment are part of past and present reality.
â€œIn my Fourth Quartet, written in autumn 1988, I have tried to define my relation to this line of tradition [of the string quartet] and to confront the problems it raises and the possible solutions it presents. At the same time, I consider this quartet, which goes far beyond my three previous efforts (of 1973, 1978 and 1982) both in its length and in its radical exploitation of the range of expression, to be a resume of my previous work. By summarizing my experiences and views as a composer it adopts a confessional tone, and yet it is also a declaration of love to this genre, perhaps the most perfect vehicle of the musical thought.â€ (M. Denhoff).
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