Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Artist: Iannis Xenakis
Title: Eonta
Format: CD
Label: Chant du Monde
Distributor: Harmonia Mundi
Those wanting to investigate the startling sonic galaxies of Iannis Xenakis must navigate a constellation of releases on dozens of small and smaller labels. Where, then to begin? Here. Chant du Monde has reissued a superb out of print recording of Xenakis' early chamber and orchestral music: "Eonta"," Pithoprakta" and his breakthrough piece of 1955, "Metastasis," conducted by its dedicatee, Maurice Le Roux. These three works are essential Xenakis: the terrifying banshee brass of "Eonta" (with longtime Xenakis champion Yuji Takahashi on piano), the layered strings (each of the 61 string players have their own part) of "Metastasis," and "Pithoprakta," whose ferocious eruptions can still - after forty-seven years - teach (or inspire?) makers of Black Metal a thing or two. Along with the indispensable CD "Electronic Music" on EMF, this disc is the place to start with Xenakis. One reservation: given the CD's short (39 minutes) running time, this should have been a mid- not full-price reissue, but it's worth it nonetheless. Recorded in 1965, there is some hiss, but overall the sound is fine.

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