Xenakis: Oresteïa

Xenakis: Oresteïa
Strasbourg Festival - Dominique Debart
Salabert Actuels 8906
Naïve Montaigne 782151

Contents:

  1. Agamemnon
  2. Kassandra (1987)
  3. Agamemnon - suite et fin
  4. Les Choephores
  5. Les Euménides

Performers: Choeur du Départment musical de l'Université de Strasbourg, Maïtrise de Colmar, Ensemble Vocal d'Anjou, Ensemble de Basse-Normandie, Spiros Sakkas (baritone solo), Sylvio Gualda (percussion solo), Robert Weddle (vocal direction), Dominique Debart (musical direction)

Playing time: 49'

Recording date: October 1987 (Strasbourg, live)

Although designed as one piece, this program breaks down fairly clearly into track #2 (for soloists) and the rest of the cycle (written in 1965-66). In fact, the wonderful Kassandra scene was added at a later date (1987). The remaining 4 tracks form a "suite" which Xenakis extracted from a much longer stage production. These were previously recorded, without the Kassandra scene, on Erato LP.

The choral style, motivated by that of ancient Greek drama, but with Xenakis' own flair, is appealing here. It has a compelling quality to it, and is much less difficult than much of Xenakis' music. The combined ensembles, many of them students, do a workman's job here, if not a sparkling one.

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T. M. McComb