The Boston Phoenix
December 18 - 25, 1997

[Music Reviews]

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*** Burkhard Glaetzner


(Berlin Classics)

In the context of late-20th-century music, the oboe can't help recalling the sound of electronic music -- its strange insistent tone has a similar unearthly quality -- as well as the almost human sound it shares with its reedy ancestors and cousins around the globe. The pieces gathered on this disc make full use of this weirdly postmodern combination. Burkhard Glaetzner can play his oboe both as a freewheeling, honking reed leaping extraordinary intervals and as a breathy, meditative woodwind capable of strange overtones and divided sounds. Isang Yun's piece gives him the most range to work with -- the beautiful solo work Piri makes use of an encyclopedic range of tones for the instrument. Other highlights are Xenakis's characteristically histrionic piece for oboe and percussion, Dmaathen, and a hyperkinetic performance of Sequenza, the piece Berio has written for a variety of solo instruments.

-- Damon Krukowski
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