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Sarah Aristidou, Aaron Pilsan, Luka Juhart, Alisa Weilerstein, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Clemens Schuldt, Andrè Schuen, Daniel Heide

Thomas Larcher: The Living Mountain (CD)

Austrian composer Thomas Larcher’s new album features premiere recordings of three strongly contrasting works. The Times has hailed Larcher’s music as a world “of haunting landscapes and dreams, stylistically disparate but fused by the composer’s astonishing ear and quizzical attitude to traditional forms”, a description borne out by the compositions here. The Living Mountain, for soprano and ensemble, draws upon the memoir of the Scottish poet and nature writer Nan Shepherd.

Unerzählt is an intimate song cycle for baritone and piano, deploying texts of German writer W.G. Sebald. And Ourobos, named for the serpent of eternity, is a powerful piece for cello and chamber orchestra. Recorded in Munich and Weerberg in 2021 and 2022 and produced by Manfred Eicher, The Living Mountain is the fourth New Series album of Larcher’s compositions.

The Living Mountain
(Nan Shepherd, Thomas Larcher)
1 Introduction
2 At first, mad to recover the tang of height
3 As I reach the highest part of my dark moor
4 In September dawns I hardly breathe
5 Once, on a night of such clear silence
6 Further up, is all snow

(Thomas Larcher)
7 Allegretto
8 Allegro infuriato
9 Adagio ma non troppo

(W.G. Sebald, Thomas Larcher)
10 Plinius sagt
11 Die roten Flecken
12 Wenn die Blitze herabfuhren
13 Gleich einem Hund
14 Am 8.Mai 1927
15 Mitten im Schlaf
16 Venezianisches Wachspräparat
17 Es heißt daß Napoleon
18 Aus dem Vorderschiff des Gehirns
19 Blaues Gras
20 Zuletzt werden bloß soviel überbleiben
21 So glitt ich lautlos
22 So wird, wenn der Sehnerv zerreißt