Herbert Brün / University of Illinois New Music Ensemble

Herbert Brün: mutatis mutandis

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Mutatis Mutandis is the third installment in a series of four CDs devoted to composer Herbert Brün's works published in 1998 by the Electronic Music Foundation. Its record label notwithstanding, this album contains no electronics, except for "Mutatis Mutandis 7," which, although performed by an acoustic instrument, results from a computer-generated score. It is also the best-known piece of this set and features its best-known musician too, flutist Lesley Olson. Brün programmed a computer to draw a graphic with a plotter. The interpreter must not see it as a score, but is asked to construct (compose) the structured process that could have generated the graphic. Olson's take makes use of many extended flute techniques to create a shimmering piece of evanescent music (this is also a different recording from the one included on her 1996 EP, Zwischen den Zeilen). The seven other works featured on this CD take the form of traditional scores for solo instruments or small ensembles. The oldest one, the "Sonatina for Bassoon Alone" dates from 1953, but the best pieces were written in the 1960s and 1970s. "Gestures for Eleven" opens the set with flair. It has the frantic pace of Lutoslawski's most difficult works and a cut-and-paste feel reminiscent of Brün's tape pieces. "'At Loose Ends:," for piano and four percussionists (Kathleen Keasey and the Blackearth Percussion Group), gets orgiastic at times, and the "Nonet" is beautiful organized chaos with shining tonal episodes. The other performers include the LaSalle Quartet and the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble. Recording dates vary and are not specified, but sound quality indicates most are fairly recent.

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