5 de Diapason
Aribert Reimann, born in 1936, is one of the leading German composers of his generation. He has made a specialty of opera and vocal music, and the two vocal works on this CD are testimony to his skill in writing for the voice. Ollea, for unaccompanied soprano, is a real virtuoso showcase that makes almost superhuman demands on its performer. It is entirely atonal, requiring an exceptional sense of pitch, it has a vast range, and the writing frequently calls for coloratura pyrotechnics. The highly dramatic vocal writing, which is sometimes reminiscent of Henze at his most abstract, is entirely idiomatic, though, and makes the voice sound fabulous, particularly in a performance as spectacular as that of German soprano Mojca Erdmann. Her pitch is absolutely secure, her tone celestially pure, and her technique dazzling. Reimann's vocal writing, for all the difficulty of his harmonic language, is always expressive, and Erdmann sings it with commitment and emotional directness, as if it was Mozart; this is a singer to watch out for. … ni una sombra, for soprano, clarinet, and piano, is just as demanding, except that here Erdmann has the stellar support of clarinetist Jörg Widmann and pianist Axel Bauni, who deliver performances that are no less astounding than hers. Widmann, who is also a major composer on the German scene, is featured in the three other works on the album, a solo for clarinet, a solo for basset clarinet (a relic of the Classical era), and Cantus, for clarinet and orchestra. His performance sounds like singing, and he shares with Erdmann the qualities of security, purity, and remarkably disciplined technique. Capriccio's sound is clean, vibrant, and present. This a CD that should have strong appeal for fans of European modernism, as well as listeners with open ears who are susceptible to thrilling vocal and instrumental performances.