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FEDELE Chamber Music

, Erinni, Paroles y Palabras, Modus and Imaginary Islands

Ensemble Accroche Note ED13198

Ivan Fedele (b.1953) has a growing discography and this new CD largely confirms my good impressions of his music.

He has a wonderful sense for timbre and balance of mood. It is music hard to describe, and I fear that for most ordinary collectors of contemporary music Pierre Gervasoni fails to help them with his inscrutable notes.

Modus is a duo for bass clarinet and vibraphone, 'modular and modal', growing from a three note chromatic figure. Erinni (1999 - for Kurtag's 75th birthday) to 'a poem never quoted' brings together cimbalom, vibraphone and piano - a heady mixture!

Imaginary Islands (1992) for flute, bass clarinet and piano experiments for its ten minute span with 'a complex mode of relationship between micro- and macro-structures starting from the observation of fractal objects'. Hmm.... More to the point it allows me to hear again flautist Mario Caroli, who introduced me to Fedele in Strasbourg, 2000.

A problem for me, and maybe for others, is that the major works Maja and Paroles y Palabras are vocal, featuring soprano Francoise Kubler, but we are provided with no texts, let alone translations of the words. Allons 'begins a phonetic leakage path starting from the borrowed word'. That may imply that the meanings in Paroles y Palabras are too elusive for comprehension (they relate to the French Revolution and South-American guerrilla warfare) but even obscure poetry gives the listener something tangible to latch on to. There are three whole pages devoted to (very nice) photos and I reproduce one of the personable musicians instead of the cover image.

I therefore would recommend this CD (short measure at under an hour) only to those like myself who have already come under Ivan Fedele's spell. Other readers would do better to explore first those previously reviewed, including his concertos, and also to take a quick look at my review and recommendation of Mario Caroli's debut recital disc.


© Peter Grahame Woolf