Foto: Mayako Kubo

“Today I am Red” for Saxphonequartet – Review

“Poly-stylistics of anecdotal character move against and with elements of dance and tones from traditional song materials, sparingly used contemporary musical techniques (e.g. quarter-tone, glissando), and natural bird sounds. Single-movement arch form. Episodes of increasingly rich tempo culminate into rapid, almost stuttering barrel-organ music, which then gives way to play and improvisation on bird whistles. Rudimentary polyphonic, primarily homo-rhythmically organized textures in triple or quadruple meter. Fathomless, partly grotesque but also playful engagements with a dirge from Austria’s Burgenland (“Heute bin ich rot, morgen bin ich tot…” [Today I am red, tomorrow I am dead]) that is ultimately smothered as a “cruel song for crueler times” (Kubo). All that remains are “birds that sing at the cemetery”.”

Michael Zwenzner, May 2019, reproduced with permission from Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, score published at the Verlag Neue Musik

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