Eberhard Blum

Eberhard Blum: Alea

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AllMusic Review by

Flutist Eberhard Blum has been featured on many landmark recordings on the Hat label, many of them firsts. He has performed the work of nearly every major 20th century composer including John Cage, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, Stephan Wolpe, Kazuo Fukushima, and many others. This program is a selection of the works of lesser-known composers such as Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Luis De Pablo, Bernd Alois Zimmerman, and Tona Scherchen. The most notable of the personages whose works are here represented is Haubenstock-Ramati, with three versions of "Mobile for One, Two, and Three Flutes," though Blum has performed this work previously and little more is revealed. The most compelling of the works here is by Alois Zimmerman, whose grand vision for a solo instrument would be absurd were it not so tonally sophisticated and elegantly composed. His manner of "stacking" microtones so that the next note slips out from underneath is both ingenious and unnerving. The two versions included here differ greatly from one another, but this is due more to the performance by Blum than the composer's original notations in the score. They are not liberties per se, but willful and allowable extrapolations with the meter and pitch of the piece. In sum, this is a record for enthusiasts of other the instrument itself, or Blum, or perhaps fans of these composers, because, musically, the entire program begins to sound as if it were one long stratified piece rather than brave works by visionaries for the instrument.

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