This CD brings together all of Xenakis' chamber music for strings for the first time (with the exception of the string quartets). The music spans almost 30 years.
* These visceral, sonically bold works explore the many possibilities of writing for strings, including howling glissandi, clustered pizzicatos and tremelos, the clatter of bouncing bows, and a rich palette of dynamics and color.
* The anarchic character of Syrmos alienated Xenakis from the traditional as well as the Darmstadt avant-garde of the 1950s, where it was felt that this music paid no heed to conventional harmony, counterpoint and musical theories -- and even required players to "do violence" to their instruments!
* Performances are by Ensemble Resonanz, one of Germany's leading string ensembles. They are devoted to works of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as juxtaposing these with a specialty to early music.
Reviews"Here's a truly incredible recording of Xenakis' music for strings. It spans almost 40 years, going back to 1959 with the powerful Syrmos for 18 strings. The performances by Ensemble Resonanz on this Mode CD are extraordinary." - Richard Friedman, MUSIC FROM OTHER MINDS, KALW 91.7 San Francisco