Raaff - Atlantis | Challenge Classics CC72808

Raaff - Atlantis

£12.56

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Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72808

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 4th December 2020

Contents

Artists

Marisol Montalvo (soprano)
Mark Stone (baritone)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor

Markus Stenz

Works

Raaff, Robin de

Atlantis

Artists

Marisol Montalvo (soprano)
Mark Stone (baritone)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor

Markus Stenz

About

The fourth CD by the leading Dutch composer Robin de Raaff on Challenge Classics is a complex and impressive oratorio that renovates the contemporary perspective of this musical genre.

Atlantis, which is dedicated to Pierre Boulez, was recorded live. Robin de Raaff completed Atlantis in the summer of 2016. The work is one that predominantly seems to progress from light to dark, with voice and instruments frequently melding into an overall sonority. That said, where the text is of major significance, De Raaff uses the voice as a lyrical element to let it soar above the orchestral timbres.

To a large extent, Atlantis is based on “Atlantis”, the final poem in Hart Crane’s collection Bridges. Boulez, the last surviving giant of post-War modernism, passed away while De Raaff was working on Atlantis.

“Boulez was the great proponent of modernism. The island that modernism actually was simply disappeared when he died. This is why I felt a homage would be appropriate.”

As De Raaff has the tonal focus descend more or less chromatically for each stanza, a feeling arises of a sinking movement. He also makes the feeling of sinking away below the mirror surface of the ocean musically understandable by using ever darker-sounding instruments.

The oratorio Atlantis is not just an argument for the use of contemporary vocal skills as an element of the entire history of music, but also and primarily a warning about stewardship of water and the future of our planet.

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