What Kind of Bedtime Story Would Helmut Lachenmann Tell?
The Brothers Balliett streams Thursdays at 3 pm and Sundays at 8 pm on Q2 Music
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Well folks, it's storytime. But there aren't any charming farm animals in the stories you are about to hear. We don't think of hyper-modernist composers Helmut Lachenmann and Luciano Berio as storytellers, but when they create a piece that sets a scene, they both go all the way (in completely different ways).
...zwei Gefuhle..., an evocative piece for narrator and large ensemble, describes a creepy cave scene as told by Leonardo da Vinci, in which the conflicting urges to explore and run away are set to Lachenmann's trademark innovative colors and orchestration. Listeners will have the rare chance to hear the composer himself deliver the powerfully stuttering narrator part alongside Ensemble Signal under Brad Lubman.
Luciano Berio's Laborintus II is a wholly different animal, investigating an ever-more-tempestuous descent to the underworld in texts by Dante and other Italian poets. While the electronic music climax is almost unrivaled in late 20th-century music, what really makes this recording POP is the storytelling delivery by Faith No More frontman Mike Patton. Yes, he screams through a megaphone, don't worry.
Hopefully these stories put you in a calm and peaceful mood right before bedtime, and not one of abject terror or existential crisis.