Review of Ultima Rara-The Bussotti Circle Contemporary Music for Guitar and Voice by Hans-Jürgen Gerung (chitarra e voce), CD Gerung-Arts&Music, 2018
1 Wanted: Door – 1st Movement
2 Wanted: Gift – 2nd Movement
3 Wanted: Se i sentieri – 3rd Movement
4 Wanted: Rock Star – 4th Movement
5 Wanted: by Your Leave – 5th Movement
6 Declarative Belfry
7 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 01 – Fauno
8 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 02 – Ariel
9 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 03 – Troll
10 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 04 – Fata
11 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 05 – Driade
12 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 06 – Meliadi
13 I fantasmi nella foresta: Sette Miniature: 07 – Satiro
14 Il Cigno Pesarese: 01 – del Sole
15 Il Cigno Pesarese: 02 – delle Muse
16 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 01 – E i fiori
17 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 02 – Chitarronata
18 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 03 – Dôme épais
19 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 04 – Upupa
20 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 05 – Farinello
21 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 06 – Foto di me, fanciullo
22 Ermafrodito – gran fantasia mitologica: 07 – Statua
23 Ultima Rara – Pop Song
Sylvano Bussotti is one of the most interesting composers who emerged from the post-war avant-garde in Europe, a well-established figure in Italy, popular not only as a composer, but also as a visual artist, director and set designer. In his long career he directed and designed works at La Scala in Milan and the Arena in Verona, and was artistic director of La Fenice in Venice, the Venice Biennale, where he collaborated with Derek Jarman, the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago, and so on. Bussotti is one of the few contemporary composers who has become famous outside the circles of contemporary music.
This CD of music for guitar shows the title “Ultima Rara-The Bussotti Circle”, a very well defined title in relation to the music (all for guitar) hosted in it. Recorded by the German composer and guitarist Hans-Jürgen Gerung (all the pieces, except the last one, were commissioned to the composers by the International Festival Forum of Contemporary Music Oberstdorf), this CD is an ideal tribute to the Florentine composer with six compositions for guitar and guitar and vocals, two of them composed by Bussotti himself, Hermaphrodite and Ultima Rara, and the other four made by four musicians who were his pupils or his enthusiastic admirers.
The first piece, “wanted”, was realized by Luigi Esposito, student, collaborator and author, among other things of “Un Male Incontenibile, ( http://www.luigiesposito.net/55-revision-v1/ ) excellent Bussotti’s biography. “wanted” is a five-part opera, a suite for guitars (guitar, classical guitar and electric guitar), followed by “Declarative Belfry” by the Japanese pianist and composer Mai Fukasawa, originally written for guitar, viola and contrabass, and transcribed here for guitar by Gerung himself, followed by the seven miniatures of “Fantasmi nella foresta”, composed by the same German guitarist-composer and “Il Cigno Pesarese”, a work dedicated to Puccini, originally for one or more clarinets by another Japanese artist, Hidehiko Hinohara. The circle is closed by two pieces of the same Bussotti, “Ermafrodito” composed for the same Hans-Jürgen Gerung and “Ultima Rara”.
Exactly, the closure of a musical, artistic, cultural and creative circle. A circle of music, ideas, compositions, authors linked in some way to Bussotti, an idea of circularity and uniqueness around a prime mover that in centrifuge and radiating forms involves other creative cores. What kind of cores? Individuals cores, personalities linked to Bussotti’s forms, but not his simple and banal epigones, imitators or replicants, but strong personalities capable of growing in Bussotti’s visions and guaranteeing their own independent vision. I think this is the keystone of this great record. Not a simple monographic, not a simple repertoire, but a real integrated artistic vision generated by different personalities united around an elective center gifted by charm and communicativeness. High quality recording, with a great accuracy and precision.