(1996) Phillips 454 231-2
Prologue a un Marco Polo
Susan Narucki, soprano
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor
Schoenberg and Asko Ensembles
“The Asko and Schoenberg Ensembles are both first rate-groups. Their conductor, Reinbert de Leeuw, has understood the essence of Vivier’s music and has discovered, with his performers, an impressive palette of instrumental colors. Soprano Susan Narucki is perfect. Her voice melts marvelously into the ensemble, just as the composer intended. I had never heard this music played so well. I am convinced that this disc will delight anyone who is really interested in the music of our time - it is music that touches, right away. Berhind it, one can feel a true human being, sensitive and warm.”
- Jean-Michel Boulay, Sonances/The New Music Site
“...(This) anthology of (Vivier’s) last works on Phillips is a striking memorial...Reinbert de Leeuw draws alternatively explosive and luminous playing from the Asko and Schoenberg Ensembles. Susan Narucki’s soprano luxuriates in an uncommonly grateful vocal line.”
- Alex Ross, The New Yorker
“I’m not the one writing my music,” Claude Vivier once said. “Perhaps it’s written by the flowers I smelled, a gesture I made, people I saw, the stars, you never know.” Conversely, one could also say that Vivier’s works furnish a description of the man himself; the same personal fears and desires return continually to form a “theme”. The composer looks on his music as a lengthy journey through what he calls “les univers intèrieurs.” ...
He developed a highly personal musical style, characterized by the use of the language he created, peppered with all kinds of vocal effects and strong, prominent melodies. The structure of these melodies is in ways similar to Gregorian chant, but is, as far as the actual use of intervals is concerned, more closely related to dodecaphonic music. He often makes use of “homo-rhythm” (i.e. - all the instruments playing the same, or more or less the same, rhythm simultaneously. In his works, there is an almost complete lack of counterpoint, which is after all the dialectic aspect of Western music... "
- from the notes by Jaco Mjnheer