Glenn Branca

Glenn Branca: Symphony No. 9 (L'Eve Future)

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Performed by the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Katowice, with vocals by the Camerata Silesia Singers Ensemble, conducted by Christian van Borries. The beginning expands melodic patterns, many of them scalar and in close intervals, played by instruments and doubled by voices. These are surrounded by an aura of sustained, chromatically shifting harmonies -- the effect is one of great longing and possibly of desolation (this writer is reminded of the textures of Richard Yardumian's little-known orchestra work "Desolate City"). Around 11 minutes into the work, the patterns become approximately two times faster and more telegraphic and chantlike. This develops into an almost waltz figure (12/8). Then a warm, low strings melody is added against the triplet accompaniment. Descending scales interrupt this, and with the doubling voices it sounds like derisive laughter. This idea is developed. Then the telegraphic patterns are combined with the longer string melodies, descending scales and patterns from the start of the work. All of these elements are varied and re-combined to produce a continuously unfolding movement of approximately 47 minutes. The additional movement is a "Freeform" in which duple and triple time are integrated by varying them within a theme, or in contrasting orchestral sections. Again Branca uses scales, telegraphing figures, rhythmic variation and chromatic modulation in direct ways, that, by combination, create dense activity, a kind of Beethovenesque minimalism. This last movement, of approximately 11½ minutes duration, is very bright and seemingly hopeful in its effect. This is a very unique work and highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 47:05
2 11:43
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