Wednesday 7 May 2014

Harry Sparnaay, Fusion Moderne - Bass Clarinet Identity -1978- (LP, Composers' Voice), Netherlands

So it's finally time for something modern composed on this blog. At first glance this looks like a quite dull classical record cover, but wait, who is peeking through the pillars of the post-apocalyptic ruins? It's Harry Sparnaay! Sparnaay is a very renowned Dutch bass clarinetist, composer and teacher. At this particular record Sparnaay plays solo pieces as well as with pianist Polo de Haas under the name Fusion Moderne.

This record shows his mastering of the instrument through five pieces composed by mainly Dutch avant-garde composers. At times the instrument itself is not recognizable any more and tends to go towards some real drone-like music. Some pieces like the 18-minute-long Mountains have electronic tape manipulations and synthesizer additions.

My favourite piece here is the haunting Chimaera from 1974 where they use weird background tape-noise in combination with the bass clarinet. On the liner note it says: "The confrontation between the two (clarinet and tape-noise) works like an exorcism in which the soloist tries to exorcise the inscrutability of the background with his background." Sounds good.

This is some nice modern composed electro-acoustic stuff which you don't see that often in combination with a bass clarinet.

Get it HERE

Donated by Kim

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