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Markus Reuter

Todmorden 513 (Concerto for Orchestra by Markus Reuter)

Review by Gary Hill

This is classical music, but not in the traditional sense. It’s more like the freeform classical that emerged in the early part of the 20th Century. Yet, it’s also ambient and space music. Is it rock? No, definitely not. It is, however, progressive music. This isn’t the kind of thing with easily latched onto hooks or similar trappings. It doesn’t have rapid changes. It’s more like clouds shifting shape as they move. That makes it hard to analyze on a track by track basis. It’s great to just put on and let percolate, though. This comes with a CD along with a DVD that has alternative mixes and a documentary of the making of this set. In addition to Reuter, this includes the Colorado Chamber Orchestra and music director Thomas A. Blomster

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Movement I

The opening movement starts rather ambient and a little disquieting. As it continues the arrangement is rather like space music, with a sparse and seemingly randomized vibe to it.

Movement II
Nothing changes rapidly here, this feeling very much like the previous section. By about four minutes in, though, it gets a bit noisier and more insistent. Later, though, it settles to something that feels a bit dreamy and mysterious.
Movement III
By the time it transitions into the third movements something akin to unsettling soundtrack music has taken over. It evolves into more freeform sounding, ambient music. Before it transitions into the next movement, the volume increases.         
Movement IV

More strangeness, this is a bit ominous, but also louder than some of the other movements. There is a real unsettling kind of feeling to this movement.

Movement V
The disquieting elements of the latter parts of the last movement intensify here. It moves to mellower territory as it continues.
Movement VI
The mellower tones that ended the last movement continue as this starts. It grows out into more bombastic territory from there, though.
Movement VII
Although this is a fairly mellow movement in some ways, it’s also dissonant and noisy. It gets less jarring as it continues and some sort of sense of magical melody emerges. Mind you, it’s still rather unsettling and odd.
Movement VIII
Working out of the previous movement, this gets downright scary after a while. It’s loud, dissonant and unsettling

 

 
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