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IANCU DUMITRESCU: "Spectrum" string quartet (part 2/2)

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Uploaded on May 8, 2009

* Iancu DUMITRESCU is Romanian, an extraordinary composer by anyones standards, hes ideed out on a limb in his homeland. Each LP side features one lengthy work . Ursa Mare is exceptionally stunning and to say the least extraordinary. Performed by a small ensemble ( violons, celles , etc) and expertly handled magnetic tape. This music oozes and flowes, shimmers, glides and cascades in a most fascinating way. I often recall such works as Cluster circa 71, Organum at their most cosmic, yet this is far stranger and surreal. AULODIE MIORITICA features the same ensemble ( this time using more percussion ) with fascinating contrabassist Fernando Grillo. This is a far more demanding work, weirder and more extreme, with Grillos odd gratings, whirrs and clunks, and lots of well placed percussive attacks. Theres not much music I like in this area of the avant-garde, but this certainly succeeds.
The other LP, released in co-operation with P16. D4s label Selektion features Grillo more exclusively. MEDIUM II is for contrabass alone, though one wouldnt belive it with such a baffling array of sounds, it pales Tom Coras experiments of this nature considerably. Cogito strikes more of a balance between the classical avant-garde of say Stockhausens MIKROPHONIE I and the likes of latter-day experimentalists Nurse With Wound, P16. D4, et al. The grating percussives and metallic screeches twist and dive against a strange array of contrabass sounds and prepared piano, a spectacularly aggressive yet pleasing sound tapestry .
Nigel HARRIS AUDION , Nov. 1988, Leicester.

* IANCU DUMITRESCU: Its hard to imagine a more imaginative, creative, colorful, and for that matter, better composition for solo bass than DUMITRESCUs MEDIUM II. The composer is one whose concerns are timbre and texture rather than form and structure ( though the latter two are, indeed, well conceived ). The mood and atmosphere varies ,ranging from restrained, even tender at times, to more frenetic, though never chaotic, outbursts. The sonority of the contrabass is extended and expanded by unorthodox playing techniques, as well as electronic manipulation, with colors that brilliant , metallic, and perhaps brittle. However, this is no gimmicky piece. DUMITRESCU extracts a full spectrum of sound from the bass in a very musical way. Trompe - lOeil is even more radiant and spectral, with instrumentation that includes two contrabasses, prepared piano, Javanese gong, crystals and metal objects. Though purely acoustic, the work sounds electronic much of the time. Again, dynamics are low and the textures spare, and theres a mysterious aura. A superior album by an excellent new composer. ( Edition RZ, Leibnizstrasse 33, D-1000, Berlin 12, W.Germany avail from RRRecords, )
Dean SUZUKI , OPTION 1986, LOS ANGELES. * IANCU DUMITRESCU. In the realms of the avant-garde ( red: serious, weird and innovative clasical music ) the countries of Eastern Europe have been notorious as burgeoners of the most experimental and creative talents. Probably best known of all is György Ligeti, along with innumerable other Hungarian and Czechoslovakian talents in the realms of electronic music.
The composer under discussion here however, hails from Romania and is the creator of some of the most radical and inventive music.
Born in 1944, its obvious that the political and social climate in Romania had profound influence on his perception of music, and later after studies with one Sergiu Celibidache, he began to experiment with aesthetics of sound creation, manipulation, and harmonic mutilation. In 1976 he formed the HYPERION ENSEMBLEto realise his works, and also those of other composers like N.B. These early orchestrated works are quite reminiscent of Ligetis similar dissonant ensemble pieces, often sounding as electronic as orchestral. Intriguing , but only hinting at the radical work to come.




A major step forward in his realisation of truly bombastic sonic disintegration was realised by the co-operation of the experimental bassist Fernando Grillo ( also known for an album on the Cramps label ), who seems capable of coaxing the most impossible sounds out of his instrument. The work Cogito / Trompe lOeil is an excellent example of this in a more atmospheric Stockhausen - like manner, whereas MEDIUM III features same of the most awesome brain-numbing sonic effects Ive heard. Many of the works from this era came to light via releases on the German Edition RZ label , revealing to the world a sonic creator of unique talent. As a creator of radical music that breaks convention, riding on the edge of the classical avant-garde onto realms more closely asso-ciated with the likes of Nurse With Wound or The Halfer Trio, IANCU DUMITRESCU has the talent to lure you in, mystify and startle with unnerving furiousity...
Alan FREEMAN AUDION , Leicester March 1993

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