Album: Murcof, The Versailles Sessions (Leaf)

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The Independent Culture

Murcof, aka Barcelona-based Mexican composer Fernando Corona, is probably best known for his blending of classical and electronic music in multimedia pieces such as Oceano; but until that is reduced to CD size, this album of music commissioned to accompany a festival makes for a pleasing stopgap.

As with much of Murcof's music, a rapprochement between past, present and future is obtained by the processing of acoustic source material, here including harpsichord and viola da gamba. "Welcome to Versailles" opens with a Messiaen-ic polytonal shower derived from a glissando of plucked piano strings, which thins out to percussive thumps and high, resonant tones. "Louis XIV's Demons" are evoked via prepared harpsichord alternating with burring viola da gamba; "Death of a Forest" involves creaking akin to tortured timber, and "A Lesson For the Future, Farewell to the Old Ways" applies octave-splitter to a mezzo-soprano with treated harpsichord, so the period melodic theme becomes futuristic.

Download this: 'A Lesson For the Future, Farewell to the Old Ways', 'Lully's Turquerie as Interpreted By an Advanced Script'