NMC is proud to announce the release of Brian Ferneyhough's opera Shadowtime, setting Charles Bernstein's poetic and complex libretto of seminal 20th-century philosopher Walter Benjamin's last days and a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld.
Recorded in July 2005, in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and the English National Opera (ENO), Shadowtime is released on NMC on 3rd April 2006, performed by outstanding contemporary music specialists Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam, and conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Acclaimed guitarist Mats Scheidegger features in the opera's Scene II, Les Froissements d'Ailes de Gabriel (The Rustling of Gabriel's Wings), while the combined role of pianist and reciter is taken by Nicolas Hodges.
Reviews of the 2005 London performance:
“…Wonderful sounds,musical moves that tell, technical exigence turned to eloquence: I listened spellbound."
Andrew Porter, Times Literary Supplement
"Bernstein's text makes oblique manoeuvres round the themes of Benjamin's work, and Ferneyhough sets them to complex yet frequently beautiful music, a mixture of tough and tender modernism."
Composer: Brian Ferneyhough
Performers: Andreas Fischer (Bass (Vocal)), Angelika Luz (Soprano (Vocal)), Anja Paulus (Soprano (Vocal)), Barbara Stein (Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)), Barbara Stein (Alto (Vocals)), Bernhard Gartner (Tenor (Vocal)), Christiane Schmeling (Alto (Vocals)), Christiane Schmeling (Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)), Ekkehard Abele (Bass (Vocal)), Frank Bossert (Tenor (Vocal)), Guillermo Anzorena (Bass (Vocal)), Janet Collins (Alto (Vocals)), Martin Nagy (Tenor (Vocal)), Mats Scheidegger (Guitar), Matthias Horn (Bass (Vocal)), Monika Meier-Schmid (Soprano (Vocal)), Nicolas Hodges (Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part), Nicolas Hodges (Piano), Nieuw Ensemble (Orchestra), Sabine Schilling (Alto (Vocals)), Sabine Schilling (Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)), Silka Storz (Soprano (Vocal)), Stefan Weible (Tenor (Vocal)), Stuttgart New Vocal Soloists (Choir, Chorus), Tobias Schlierf (Bass (Vocal))
Conductor: Jurgen Hempel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Nieuw Ensemble