21 February 2015, Mel Martin, Audiophile Audition
Review (en)

SACD: Perfect Strangers: HEINER GOEBBELS/ FRANK ZAPPA works – Norwegian Radio Orch.

A stunning recording of the music of two contemporary visionaries.

"This new SACD is a wild and worthwhile ride, featuring two contemporary maverick composers with a variety of music in a spectacular multichannel recording. The first half of the disc is the Suite for Sampler and Orchestra from Surrogate Cities by Heiner Goebbels. Goebbels works as a professor at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen (Germany) and is President of the Theatre Academy Hessen. From 2012 to 2014 he was the artistic director of the International Festival of the Arts. The Suite is dissonant and energetic. A fable of the modern city. It draws inspiration from Baroque music, Jewish prayer chants, and industrial noise. In the composer’s words, it is “an attempt to approach the phenomenon of the city from various sides, to tell stories of cities, expose oneself to them, observe them; it is material about metropolises that has accumulated over the course of time.” It’s a perfect fit for the SACD format, with deep bass, sparking high frequencies, and very aggressive positioning of instruments and voices. The work may turn off traditionalists, and it is a challenge to listen to as it requires your full attention, but the work is extremely interesting and theatrical. We also get a collection of the works by the late Frank Zappa, who made his mark in rock and avant-garde music. While Goebbels music is dark, Zappa’s is more playful...."

on: Suite for Sampler and Orchestra (Composition for Orchestra)