Austrian composer Clemens Gadenstaetter's second CD puts together two works for small chamber ensembles written in the mid-'90s. "Streichtrio II (Friktion)" is performed by the Klangforum Wien string trio (Sophie Schafleitner, Dimitrios Polisoidis, and Andreas Lindenbaum). Presented as a study on the physics involved in producing a sound from a string instrument (friction, pressure, movement), it goes well beyond this mechanist description. Sparse lines and outburst of activity populate the score. The randomness factor (whether illusory or real) gives the piece a flow similar to Witold Lutoslawski's chamber music: jagged, lively, chaotic, but controlled. It was recorded in August 2001, while "Variationen und Alte Theme" was put to tape three-and-a-half years earlier. A quartet for trombone (Sebastian Fuchsberger), guitar (Christian Horvath), cello (Michael Moser), and double bass (Michael Seifried), it also includes voice parts (text in German), presumably performed by the instrumentalists. The theme in question remains very vague and is more rhythmical than tonal. This piece is an endless succession of forte staccato chords and soft sustained notes. The sensation of randomness is still present and more insistent. Most of what Gadenstaetter had to say is exposed in the first three minutes. The voices entering halfway into the half-hour long piece add very little. This CD has been released in a clear plastic shell. The "booklet" is virtual and available on Durian's website at www.durian.at.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture