Review Simon Cummings 2019 (Mascarade Obscure)

Simon Cummings –

Release Details

Date : 2019-11-19
Place : Cotswolds (Gbr)

About "Mascarade Obscure"

“Nordic Music Days 2019 (Part 1) […]
Sweden made a much stronger impression during the festival. […]
If a prize was given to the most breathlessly exuberant work performed at NMD 2019, it would probably have go to Ansgar Beste. In his Mascarade Obscure, the members of Esbjerg Ensemble were reduced to just the mouthpieces of their instruments, which were played into full or empty glasses or had balloons and other implements stuffed inside them. That sounds like the kind of novelty typical of rather too many new music concerts, yet Beste wasn’t interested in this purely for its comedy or oddity value. Taking inspiration from ‘dance rhythms of popular music from nowadays and centuries gone by’, the work was a cavalcade of rhythmic counterpoint and metric gear-changing. There was always the sense that pitches were enthusiastically being attempted by the players who, far from being daunted, seemed to revel in the absurd mayhem that resulted. The work’s balance between raucous entertainment and focused musical integrity was absolutely perfect, making for a simultaneously fun yet engrossing experience.”


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Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, no. 1/2019 (p. 69)