“Aesthetic Apparatus: Clarinet Chamber Music of Helmut Lachenmann” was released this month by “New Focus Recordings”. The compositions by German composer Helmut Lachenmann were recorded by Gregory Oakes (clarinet), Matthew Coley (percussion), Mei-Hsuan Huang (piano), Jonathan Sturm (violin) and George Work (cello). Helmut Lachenmann was born in Stuttgart on 1935. He studied piano with Jürgen Uhde and composition and theory with Johan Nepomuk David at “Musikchoschule Stuttgart” 1955 – 1958. Helmut Lachenmann also was the first private student of Italian composer Luigi Nono in Venice 1958 – 1960.
Helmut Lachenmann music is based on contemorary academic avant-garde, experimental music and 20th century modern music elements synthesis. He use many different playing and composing techniques to create extraordinary and unusual sound. The composer combine together puantilism, dodecaphony, serialism, sonoristic music composing techniques with his own and individual ways of playing. The main part of Helmut Lachenmann music were written for various combinations – he writes music for chamber and symphony orchestras, string quartets, also compose pieces for solo instruments. The main style on which his music is based is academic avant-garde and experimental music. Helmut Lachenmann Musical language is very colorful and inventive – composer combine together absolutely different musical pieces and episodes, electronic and acoustic instruments, bright, unusual and innovative timbres and various extended musical expressions in one place. He also pays high attention to emotions and extraordinary sound – by using numerous of different musical expressions, shocking and fascinating musical decisions, creative and impressive experiments, free form, polyphonic structure and innovative instrumentation he creates bright, inventive and evocative sound.
This album compositions demonstrate all the main elements of Helmut Lachenmann’s music. Three compositions had been recorded in this album – it’s “Dal Niente (Interieur III)”, “Trio Fluido” and “Allegro Sostenuto”. These compositions have free, not-strictly based structure, polyphonic melodic basic, are also based on very interesting and dynamic rhythmic. Very expressive, emotional, passionate and dramatic melodies are full of virtuosic arpeggios, has very good sound quality, many different musical expressions, extended playing techniques and bright musical language. The essential elements of serialism, puantilism, atonal music, experimental music and basics of academic avant-garde are gently and originally combined together in one composition. Helmut Lachenmann use wide range of different playing techniques – such usual playing techniques as vibrato, glissando, pizzicato, arpeggio and others are inventively mixed with innovative and experimetal ways of playing. Various unusual, strange and weird timbres are heard in these compositions – it makes an effort to the compositions main sound and also is very important element of background. The music which is full of unknown, strange and colorful noises, has more live, energy, unpredictable and surprising musical language. All this album compositions are based on atonal music elements – the harmony is based on dissonance chords which are formed very differently and unusually. The main sound of the chords and pitches is very dramatic, sharp, aggressive and provocative. Interesting and sharp harmony is marvelously combined together with numerous of different musical expressions and playing styles – rubato, agitato, vibrato, sostenuto and many others. The music is based on sudden stylistic changes and contrasting episodes combined into one place. Active, energetic and vivacious episodes are the opposite to lyrical, abstract, peaceful and restful pieces. This sudden, dynamic and speedy changing of absolutely different moods and playing styles shows the masterful ability of Helmut Lachenmann to combine many different musical language elements, styles and moods in one composition. Bright, evocative and vital musical language, unique composing style, interesting and passionate playing create fascinating and stunning sound of this album compositions.