On the Edges
Three works for large chamber ensemble by Hamburg based composer Gerald Eckert are collected here. His music places demands on the interpreter to produce the greatest possible array of timbral values and dynamic range, ones that encroach on the border of what is performable in terms of technical ability.
Eckert’s music operates on the edges of sound, between extremes ranging from stillness, almost silence, to explosion. In his music, nothingness and abundance are two sides of the same coin.
Gerald Eckert, (b. 1960), studied composition with Nicolaus A. Huber and electronic composition with Dirk Reith. He has received numerous prestigious prizes including the C. Gulbenkian Prize, Portugal 1993; the Kranichstein Prize, Darmstadt 1996; 1st prize in Bourges 2003, and 1st prize at the Stuttgart Composition Competition 2005. Top ensembles have performed his music including the NDR-Philharmonie, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble SurPlus, and Musikfabrik.
He conducts his own music here with ensemble reflexion K of Hamburg.
Liner notes by Jörg Meyer and Egbert Hiller.
Mode Records has released on the edges, a disc of works by the German composer-cellist Gerald Eckert, born 1960. It comes courtesy of Ensemble Reflexion K, which is based, improbably, in the Baltic Sea resort of Eckernförde, in Schleswig-Holstein a little south of the Danish border. Eckert studied with Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey, among others; his language of gradually billowing and dematerializing sounds is closer to the latter than the former, and, in its attention to the sonic complexity of sustained tones, also brings to mind Giacinto Scelsi. The three works on the program — An den Rändern des Maßes, Bruchstücke … erstarrtes Lot, and Sopra di noi… (niente) — periodically erupt into dense, seething masses of instrumental sound, yet the dominant atmosphere is contemplative, as if chaotic natural processes were being observed telescopically across vast distances. A program note by Jörg Meyer asserts that Eckert is concerned with the “concept of nothingness in its transcendental abundance”; the music bears out this flamboyant claim.
— Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise, 20 April 2016
mode 288 Gerald ECKERT: on the edges — An den Rändern des Maßes (2005-11) for two instrumental groups; Bruchstücke… erstarrtes Lot (1998-99) for ensemble; Sopra di noi… (niente) (2014) for small orchestra — ensemble reflexion K/Gerald Eckert
mode 289 John CAGE & Morton FELDMAN: Radio Happenings – 224-page hardcover book with audio DVD of the complete 5-hours of audio from the radio broadcasts of their conversations recorded in 1966-67 on WBAI NYC, mastered from the source closest to the original tapes. Coproduction with MusikTexte, Germany. $29.98 (+ $5.25 shipping in the USA. Please inquire for international)