Heiner Goebbels' evening-long collection, the result of a commission from the Junge Deutsche Philharmonic, is not so much a single, unified work as a sequence of independent pieces all worked around the common theme of urban life. There´s a purely orchestral piece, the Suite, in which baroque skeletons are overlaid with sampled city sounds and the singing of a Jewish cantor; a song cycle, The Horatian, which sets texts by Heiner Muller in a Eisler-like way; a cool reading of a Paul Auster extract delivered over a smoky pizzicatojazz bass; a spiralling wordless soprano for in the Country of the Last Things; and jagged, high-voltage instrumental ostinatos in Surrogate. The style is typically polyglot - eruptive jazz riffs jostle with expressionist harmonies, haunting melodies give away to anguished declamation. It all hangs together wonderfully through the sheer originality of Goebbels' creative personality.
The Guardian (GB), 19 May 2000