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VARESE, EDGARD: Orchestral works 2
Not really all orchestral works, but a great and essential collection. Every piece is luminous and prophetic. Taken with the companion Naxos CD Arcana, Integrales, Deserts, it covers virtually the entire existing oeuvre of one of the C20 greatest composers. This volume contains the breathtaking Ameriques, as well as Equatorial (bass voices, two ondes martinots and ensemble), Nocturnal (soprano, bass voices, ensemble), Hyperprism (9 winds and 9 percussionists), Density 21.5 (flute), Ionisation, still the greatest - and effectively the first - major work for medium-sized (14) percussion ensemble, as well as the rarely heard pieces Un grand sommeil noir (on a poem by Verlaine) the sole (accidentally) surviving work from his early years, Dance for Burgess (chamber orchestra and percussion) and Tuning up (a short work, based around the pitch A for large orchestra). These are interesting versions of the works, played by the Polish National Radio Orchestra - wholly digital recordings offer good dynamics and a very contemporary sound, which mostly works well. With 18pp of useful notes.