Hannes Lingens: Four Pieces for Quintet [insub rec01]
Berlin composer Hannes Lingens’ Four Pieces for Quintet contains realizations of four of Lingens’ graphic scores as performed by Koen Nutters and Derek Shirley on double basses, Johnny Chang on viola, Michael Thieke on clarinet, and Lingens on accordion. The scores, which happily are included with the release, are elegantly simple designs consisting of rectangles and squares of four different colors plus white, arranged in five rows. For this performance each color was associated with a tone, to be held for a length of time presumably varying with the length of the square or rectangle in which the color occurs. The duration of each of the four realizations was set at five minutes.
The music that results from these performances is pure harmony; despite the instrumental variety had by mixing reeds and bowed strings, timbre comes across as something of a neutral value. Each musician plays long tones or pauses which overlap in such a way that chords of varying complexity and length arise and mutate. For example, the first of the quintets on the release, No. 2, has a predominantly lighter, consonant sound built on major thirds. No. 3 is more discordant, featuring minor seconds, while No. 4 mixes consonances and dissonances, with pitches held against one another in an unresolved tension eventually giving way to a startling ending on a major chord.