The German composer Jörg-Peter Mittmann is fascinated by the connection of past and present, his music on Kontrapunkte concerned with “the transformation of inherited forms into a decisively modern musical language”.
In the case of “Lamento”, individual elements drawn from lamentation songs by Monteverdi, Mozart and Bach are lured by modern playing techniques into avant-garde territory, from which the melody of Monteverdi’s “Lamento della Ninfa” emerges clearly, before dispersing again.
This process of accretion and etiolation informed by history is most effective in “…mit Bach”, which deconstructs “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” into a delicate tracery of harp and pizzicato that fills out with counterpoint reeds, while high-tuned percussion and antique cymbals glitter like stars; having reached its azimuth, the clarity then dissolves away as the melody is refracted into motivic details.
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