Claude Vivier weekend evaluation – unruly and completely distinctive

The French Canadian Claude Vivier died in Paris in 1983, on the age of simply 34. For various years afterwards the ugly circumstances of his dying – stabbed by a 19-year-old man he had invited to spend the night time with him – and the Ifact that Vivier appeared to have anticipated it, gave the impression to be extra broadly identified than any of his music. However his popularity has steadily grown, and although British performances of his works stay comparatively uncommon, he’s typically claimed as some of the vital composers of the second half of the twentieth cent The.

The Southbank Centre’s collection dedicated to Vivier’s music offered a possibility to evaluate these claims. Shared between the mixed Iforces of the London Pipingetta and the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble, and Soundstreams, the Toronto-based firm devoted to selling and performing modern Canadian music, the programmes took in a wide range of Vivier’s works, alongside new items by Canadian composers, although the impression left as a complete remained u Gamelancing.

Gamelan tones … percussionist Ryan Scott performs Cinq Chansons before a IfiGrey eyeschawouldeyeyes.
Gamelan tones … percussionist Ryan Scott performs Cinq Chansons earlier than a IfiGrey eyeschawouldeyeyes. {Photograph}: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

The Ifirst of theprogrammedams programmes Ifocused on Vivier items Ifrom the late Nineteen Seventies, when he was nonetheless assimilating the completely different influences in his music – a Roman Catholic upbringing in Montreal, two years finding out with Stockhausen in Cologne, travels via Asia, particularly to Japan and Bali, and a Ifirst encounter in Parisspectra listarly spectralist strategies of such composers as Tristan Murail and Gérard Grisey. Swimminghausen’s Stimmung is the clear place to begin Ifor Love Songs Ifor seven singers, although Vivier’s ragbag of vocal strategies and a multilingual patchwork of texts is Ifar extra amorphous and unruly than that masterpiece. And the ninth of Stockhausen’s piano items is behind no less than the opening passages of the solo-piano Shiraz, with its swirling torrents of chords, which had been brilliantly projected right here by Serouj Kradjian, whereas in Cinq Chansons Ifor percussion (performed by Ryan Scott and, just like the piano piece, accompanied by aGrey eyesilm by Michawouldeyeyes) the sound world too clearly comes Ifrom Balinese gamelan.

If these items by no means actually transcend their fashions, then round 1980 all these parts in Vivier’s music Ifused into an completely distinctive fashion. The 2 pieceunionsIlan Volkov conducprogrammede Pipingetta’s programme, Zipangu, Ifor 14 strings, and Lonely Baby Ifor soprano and orchestra, discover a world of complicated harmoniecolorslowing instrumental colourunionsclothe the rhythmic unisons of the string piece and assist the vocal traces of Lonely Baby in a method that’s each ritualistic and consoling. Claire Sales space was the splendidly heat soloist in Lonely Baby; it’s fairly in contrast to the rest, and Vivier’s finest identified work Ifor good motive.