His biographers describe the German artist Michael Bastian Weiss (Deggendorf, 1974) as both composer and philosopher. And this latter facet is apparent in the spirit presiding the two works on this latest CD to join the Fundación BBVA-NEOS Collection.
In the instrumental sacred music piece ‘Fragmenta Missarum pro Defunctis‘ we find him immersed in a reflection on the consequences of one of history’s greatest tragedies. This piece was begun in 2000 and concluded one year later in 2001 – the year of the terror attack on the Twin Towers. Originally written for large orchestra and piano, it had its premiere in 2004 with Greek-German Andreas Skouras on piano. Skouras repeats his performance on this recording and also plays harpsichord in the second work. Here we find Weiss in Renaissance mode, featuring an instrument sidelined for hundreds of years until innovators like Falla and Poulenc rediscovered its unique sonority. On this occasion, the composer tests the limits of its sonorous power, surpassing even the performances extracted by later admirers like Orff, Ligeti or Xenakis. The result is a work organized into four movements, which Weiss has catalogued as his Second Symphony.
Andreas Skouras, piano and clavichord
1.-2. Fragmenta missarum pro Defunctis (24:38)
3.–7. Sonate über die Dunkelheit (50:32)
Total time: 75:21