German composer Nicolaus A. Huber is a follower of Stockhausen, and listeners' reactions to the abstract processes contained in the latter's music will likely determine whether or not they will have any interest in these chamber works. Several have achieved the grail of contemporary academic music: they have been recorded multiple times, by multiple ensembles. These chamber pieces fall broadly into the class of works for traditional instruments influenced by electronics, but Huber introduces a tension between musical abstraction and the wider world that may appeal to some. The instrumental writing is challenging and gets unusual sounds out of the instruments without recourse to artificial techniques. Don't fence me in for flute, oboe, and clarinet (1994) makes only imperceptible reference, if any, to the Johnny Mercer cowboy song; the composer states that among his rejected titles for the work was "with Luigi Dallapiccola to the power of Nono times N A Huber." But Offenes Fragment (1991) includes settings of, believe it or not, fragments from Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra ("I've still got scars all over my head from that fight, and if you put a nickel in them, they will all play Sinatra's songs," said Shecky Greene), and La Force du Vertige (1985) links abstract patterns to the feeling of giddiness or dizziness. Originally recorded in 1998, this was performed with total commitment by Ensemble Aventure and reissued in 2010 by the Ars Musici label.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim