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By Arditti Quartet; Gruppe Neue Musik 'Hanns Eisler'; Herchet

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By Arditti Quartet; Gruppe Neue Musik 'Hanns Eisler'; Herchet. By Jorg Herchet (1943-). Listening CD. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-62522).

Item Number: NX.WER-62522

When assigning names to his works Jorg Herchet avoids traditional generic labels or picturesque titles. His works are simply headed "Composition" for followed by their scoring. Herchet's choice of neutral titles is indicative of a fundamental stance. They place his works in the tradition of absolute music, i.e. music which is devoid of extra-musical references, preferring instead to communicate through its form and structure alone and preserving its autonomy as pure music.

Herchet's hermetic musical language must also be viewed in direct connection with the limited possibilities for artistic development in the former state of East Germany. During his studies in Dresden and East Berlin he came into conflict with the political expectations of the school authorities and was not allowed to take his final examinations, the reason being that his undergraduate thesis as well as his compositions are unworthy of a future socialist composer.

Even after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Herchet declined to conform with the trends of the day, nor with the high-powered demands of the western music market. His works are neither easy to consume nor easy to play. They pose a challenge, and have something to say to those open-minded listeners who are willing to yield to the music and allow themselves be carried away.

"Composition 1" for two violins, viola and cello is dedicated to Herchet's teacher Paul Dessau in veneration and gratitude; "Composition" for oboe, English horn, trombone, percussion, piano, viola, cello and double bass was composed specifically for the regular members of the Leipzig avant-garde performance group Neue Musik "Hanns Eisler".

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