19 May 2000, Andrew Clements, The Guardian
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.
on: Surrogate Cities (CD)