Wednesday, March 30, 2016


It would of course have been a lot simpler to have simply bought the CD on Saturday & have done with. Instead that stupid little thrifty voice of reason urged restraint & thus I have spent three days trying to recapture a sustained soprano note against slowly descending chords. 

No Mozart me - it's like trying to drink sunlight. 

Then as if in an act of mercy, plonk! a package drops through the letter box. 

I've just listened right through, mesmerised. Time dilates. At the end I had to check the track listings - the entire recording amounts to barely 30 minutes & yet the impression is of an entire morning. 

The texts are all derived from Shakespeare's Ophelia recombined & collaged (if I understand correctly) by Paul Griffiths. This, alone, would merit investigation. 

However, Abrahamsen's score ... well, this is impossibly beautiful music. Hannigan's voice feels its way through skull & skin into the very nervous system where it works that same strange magic that enchanted Caliban. I could make comparisons with Berio's Recital for Cathy, Gorecki's Third Symphony, Strauss' Last Songs ... but what's the point? This music exists. 

Listening is all. 


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