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Product Details

  • Performer: F.; Haller; Jenne; Junge; Kette; Ro Bollon; Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart Des Sw; Swr Vokalensemble Stuttgart; Bach
  • Composer: Rihm Wolfgang
  • Audio CD (April 1 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hae
  • ASIN: B00008NRIR
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #376,864 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, paroxysmal, like Rihm's model and source of inspiration Antonin Artaud April 27 2009
By Discophage - Published on Amazon.com
When Wofgang Rihm emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s on the German contemporary music scene, he was categorized by the critics in a movement which they dubbed "new simplicity", and whose other most prominent members were Manfred Trojahn and Hans-Jurgen von Böse. Seen from today, almost 20 years hence, the notion is surprising: Rihm's music is far from simple. But it has to be understood in the context of those days, as a rejection of the rules, constrains and strictures of late-serialism and a will to come back to a method of composition which, while fully drawing on the playing techniques and expressive gamut developed by the most advanced contemporary music, was more instinctive and eclectic. But again, seen not from the standpoint of the compositional methods and processes but from that of what is being offered to the listener, Rihm's music in Tutuguri (1982), originally conceived as a "poème dansé" (danced poem) for speaker, chorus and large orchestra but (like Ravel's Daphnis) perfectly convincing as a large concert piece, is NOT simple, NOT easy listening and inconspicuous. On the contrary, it is rough and raw, violent, aggressive, cataclysmic, but also highly expressive and effective.

One of Rihm's main sources of inspiration in those years was Antonin Artaud, the half-nut (and in my opinion even more than half) French (that explains it) writer, author of the famous "The Theatre and Its Double" and the concept of Theatre of Cruelty. "Tutuguri, The Rite of the Dark Sun" is a prose poem, part of the radio play "Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu" ("To Have Done with the Judgment of God"), describing some sort of primitive ritual, or maybe some nightmare (text provided in the liner notes). Artaud's ritual theatre was for Rihm the trigger for unleashing the raw power of music.

I would personally call Rihm (like Birtwistle, with widely different compositional methods) a "post-varesian" composer, because of his taste for music that is almost constantly in a state of paroxysm and his recurring use of strongly pounding or simply subtly coloristic (as at the begining of the second tableau, track 3) percussion passages employing many exotic instruments. Rihm's Tutuguri is evocative of some primitive, barbaric ritual, with pulsating and dogged ostinatos. The last movement (CD 2) is an impressive, 38-minute of pounding drums and shouts. Quite unique it seems to me in the history of Western classical music (Xenakis maybe?) and quite daring I find in its provocativeness. I also enjoy that, true to his Artaud model, Rihm is willing to go way beyond the boundaries of "good taste", as at the end of the third part (track 4 at 25:00) where he has the speaker intone guttural shouts and grunts.

Rihm came back to Artaud in at least two other stage works: in 1991, in his opera The Conquest of Mexico (Wolfgang Rihm: Die Eroberung von Mexico), and in 1994, in another piece of music-theatre which I know only through its entry in the composer's catalog: "Séraphin, Versuch eines Theaters - Instrumente/Stimmen/ ...nach Antonin Artaud ohne Text" (Seraphin, Essay of a Theatre - Instruments/Voices/ ...after Antonin Artaud without text").

TT 1:57.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tutuguri -- "The Rite of the Black Sun" March 20 2012
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
TUTUGURI is a major orchestral work from Wolfgang Rihm, composed from 1980-1982. Labelled a "poem dance," it seems to be a score for a theatrical dance performance, but the liner notes are unclear on this point. There is no indication that it is a live recording. The Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR and the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart were recorded in July 2002, with Rupert Huber as Choirmaster, and Fabrice Bollon as conductor. Six drummers are featured in the heavily percussive work.

The text by Artaud describes The Rite of the Black Sun: "The Rite is that the new sun should pass by at seven points, before it explodes at the hole of the earth. And there are six men, one for each sun, and a seventh man, who is the utterly fierce sun, dressed in black and with red flesh." Rihm says this of his "choreographic realization": "Presentation of a dark, fierce cult. The free, wild calls of the first part are given pure pounding in answer... Search for reflex-like music, for a body of sound... Towards the end: extinction of colour..."

The first disc is 79 minutes long, divided into four sections. The music is less dense than much of Rihm's writing from the decade before (see Dis-Kontur / Lichtzwang / Sub-Kontur for instance). It does sound very much like accompaniment to a performance, the orchestra punctuated by loud drums and periodic shouting and chanting. While not pleasant per se, it is more accessible than much of Rihm's other music -- the lines are not as complex. I find it to be quite compelling. It certainly creates a powerful mood, a mood that fits the dark, mysterious title.

A serious drawback to the work, and to this disc, is that the last 38-minute section is all drums, with a few vocals here and there. And it takes the entire second disc. If this was the music to a performance it might be effective, but honestly as an audio-only recording I think the second disc is superfluous. Rihm's writing for tribal-sounding pounding percussion is not impressive enough to sustain such a long passage.

TUTUGURI was written during a strong period for Rihm. The works of his first period of the Seventies were bold and audacious. What came next included Die Hamletmaschine (see my review), a stunning opera based on a Heiner Muller text. While not a masterpiece, TUTUGURI is an excellent if flawed work, and certainly worth hearing for anyone interested in Rihm's music.

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4.0 out of 5 stars This "presentation of a dark fierce cult" is a fine achievement of Rihm's early expressionist style Sept. 14 2015
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
As a young composer, Wolfgang Rihm was writing in an expressionist style, full of tortured emotions, surges of passion, a volatile soundscape veering between extremes. He was also interested in 20th-century theatre trends. It seems entirely natural that the French playwright (and madman) Antonin Artaud would strike his fancy: Artaud advocated a "theater of cruelty", stage action as a return to the primeval magic and ritual that people of his time associated with non-Western tribes and a presumably Dionysian culture that ruled Europe before Christianity.

Rihm's "Tutuguri" for speaker, choir and large orchestra (1980-82) is an epic work based on "Tutuguri: The Rite of the Black Sun", a poem that Artaud had presented within a radio play in 1947. The poem describes a baffling rite, whose inexplicability is best compared to that of hallucinogen-induced visions (Artaud had experimented with peyote in Mexico) or the poet's own mental illness: "...the circling finished, they uproot the earth-crosses, and the naked man on the horse lifts up a huge horseshoe which he had dipped in his own fresh blood."

Rihm saw in this poem a sort of evocation of the life force inside of us all bursting free, and he sought to depict this emotionally explosive quality in a "poeme dansé" lasting just under two hours. The music of this "presentation of a dark, fierce cult", as Rihm calls it, is rooted in drums, low winds, and low strings. The listener is transported through one soundscape after another of rumbles and savage symphonic dances. Voice is employed only at a few points, with grunts, shouts, ululations, or chanted nonsense syllables. But it's never a meaningless, noisy racket. Rihm's early music (roughly early 1970s to early 1980s) works at a fever pitch of emotion which never lets up, and which remains consistently engaging.

While I am impressed by this work, I nonetheless regret that a home listener misses out on the whole experience. Rihm didn't intend to present "Tutuguri" with specially designed sets or staged action, but he did want the performers dispersed in space around the audience and the feeling that a public was sharing the ritual together. While the disc is worthwhile, I think it should be left to Rihm fans who have already become attuned to his style of this time and can, as it were, fill in the gaps in their minds between the experience on disc and what Rihm envisioned.

This Hanssler Classic presents a November 2002 recording where Fabrice Bollon conducts the SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. The choir is the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart with chorus master Rupert Huber. The liner notes consist of Artaud's poem in the original French along with German and English translations, as well as Rihm's own programme notes for the piece. Forced to express the same ineffable things as Artaud in words, Rihm's comments on his work are similarly poetic and fanciful, but still clear enough to help the listener come to grips with the form of the work.