Album: London Sinfonietta, Louis Andriessen: Anaïs Nin; De Staat (Signum Classics)

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The Independent Culture

Lou Reed and Metallica aren't the only ones delving into pre-war bohemian perversity: the Dutch minimalist Louis Andriessen offers a monodrama based on the diaries of Anaïs Nin, with the soprano Cristina Zavalloni recounting Nin's sexual liaisons with Antonin Artaud, René Allendy, Henry Miller and her own father.

With clarinet and sax used to evoke jazz-era Paris, a cabaret-flavoured, sometimes comical Kurt Weill ambience captures the amorality and loneliness in Nin's writing. It is paired with Andriessen's most famous composition, De Staat, in which the vocal group Synergy offer ruminations on music from Plato's Republic, set to the reedy, methodical cycles of Andriessen's early minimalist style.

DOWNLOAD THIS: De Staat; Anaïs Nin