Friday, September 26, 2008

Horatiu Radulescu, 1942-2008

On the heels of news of Mauricio Kagel's passing last week, today I read in the Rambler that the spectralist composer Horatiu Radulescu died yesterday. I make no claims to understanding Radulescu's music, which always seemed very much on the fringes of classical music practice. Although he wrote for conventional instruments (including five piano sonatas and a piano concerto), he captured my imagination with his works for sound icons (grand pianos retuned to a "spectral scordatura," mounted on their sides and bowed) or for massively large numbers of identical instruments (e.g., Byzantine Prayer for 40 flautists using 72 flutes, or Infinite to be cannot be infinite, infinite anti-be could be infinite for nine string quartets). Needless to say, his work is poorly represented on disc, although various out of print works are available at the Avant Garde Project, a site devoted to 20th century classical works digitized from LP and unreleased in other formats.

N.P.:  Radulescu, You Will Endure Forever (piano sonata no. 5), performed by Ortwin Stürmer.

Photo by Guy Vivien from Edition RZ 4002, Infinite to be... by the Arditti String Quartet.

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