dé-col/age cs397

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dé-col/age [cs397] is an intriguing update on and reimagining of the reed quintet. A very indirect heir of the classical clarinet quintet, which augmented the standard string quartet with a reed instrument, the ensemble integrates an alto saxophone, played by Nuno Torres, with a nonstandard string quartet of violin (Thea Farhadian), viola (Rodrigues), cello (Rodrigues’ son Guilherme), and double bass (Klaus Kürvers). The makeup of the string quartet isn’t the only nonstandard thing about the music, which is presented in eleven fairly concise sections. Like much contemporary free improvisation, it exploits nonstandard instrumental technique as well as contrapuntal and ensemble playing based as much on timbre as on pitch relationships. To be sure, the music does include some passages of linear, if freely dissonant, counterpoint. But it is just as likely to mass the five voices into a multiband drone of wide compass, with harmonies and dissonances emerging and dissipating as the strings and saxophone rise and fall singly and together, or to scatter them into episodic clusters of abstract, unpitched sounds. At its best, Affiche brings a satisfying balance of conventional and extended technique and a fine employment of the full timbral ranges of strings and reed. Daniel Barbiero (Percorsi Musicali)