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Brian Ferneyhough: La Terre est un Homme

Olivia Robinson soprano - Jennifer Adams-Barbaro soprano
Cherith Millburn-Fryer alto
ensemble recherche EXAUDI - James Weeks conductor
BBC Symphony Orchestra - Martyn Brabbins conductor

NMC D231

D231 Cover
Brian Ferneyhough (b. 1943) is widely recognized as one of today's foremost living composers.   Since the mid-1970s, when he first gained widespread international recognition, his music has earned him a reputation as one of the most influential creative personalities and significant musical thinkers on the contemporary scene.

The monolithic La Terre est un Homme, with its 4-foot-tall score and written for an orchestra of eighty-eight, each of whom at times becomes a soloist with their own individual stave, caused a scandal at its 1979 premiere and has scarcely been heard since.   The title comes from a painting from 1942 by Roberto Matta, which reminded Ferneyhough of a dream he had experienced.

“I dreamt of a strange and alien planet traversed by a pitilessly hot sun.   It was basically a desert landscape.   The remarkable thing was, I seemed to be seeing every single grain of sand separately, not only in its spatial dimensions but also - somehow - in its individual weight.   All was in slow, ineluctable motion.   Between sharply contoured rocks scuttled tiny, scorpion-like creatures.   One senses the extreme complexity but inevitability of this strange combination of leaden, slowly-moving sand and sudden flashes of intensely coloured movement.”


01. Liber Scintillarum     19'02

02. Plötzlichkeit     22'22

      Missa Brevis
03. I Kyrie     1'56
04. II Gloria     3'34
05. III Sanctus     2'27
06. IV Benedictus     2'22
07. V Agnus Dei     2'53

08. La Terre est un Homme     13'04

NMC Recordings are distributed in Australia by
Rockian Trading, P.O.Box 44, Briar Hill, Vic, 3088, Australia
Telephone (03) 9432 4149 ~ Facsimile (03) 9444 6879