Perhaps if Gulliver had met a Gypsy musician in the course of his travels and had been lucky enough to hear her in a spontaneous duet with a flute-playing giant, there might be some precedent for the music on this disc. As it is, we can be sure that will never have heard anything much like this before. The musical conversation is animated, alien, and timeless.
Wind superstars, Roberto Fabbriciani, flutist, and Esther Lamneck, clarinetist, came together in the summer of 2008 to explore the sonic possibilities of the HyperBass Flute (a plumber’s demented fantasy) and the Tárogató (a Hungarian reed instrument). It is easy to fall in love with these bizarrely lovely instruments, their emotional colors, and expressive resonance.
The exploration of extreme low sounds has always intrigued Mr. Fabbriciani (the world authority on extended flute techniques and collaborator with the likes of Stockhausen, Ligeti, and Messiaen). With this instrument he has discovered not only a new sonic universe for the flute but new ways of sound production. The rich and colorful dynamic range of the instrument is enormous and allows him to move fluidly from softest breath sounds to the loudest of percussive effects. From multiphonics to vocal polyphony, the expressive possibilities for this instrument are extraordinary.
The Hungarian Tarogato, a distant cousin of the clarinet, has one of the most beautiful sounds of any woodwind instrument. Ms. Lamneck, artistic director of the NYU New Music and Dance Ensemble, knows her way around it, cajoling arpeggios, slides, and circular breathing techniques out of it to leave you breathless.
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