Reviews by Massimo Ricci

The A23H chronicle


JUST MUSIC ENSEMBLES (Laubhuette Productions)

A few additional soldiers join the squad. Harth and friends are flanked in a couple of instances by other free-thinkers, responding to the names of Witold Teplitz (clarinet), Hans Schwindt (alto sax), Thomas Stoewsand (cello) and Andre De Tiege (viola). Ensembles is probably the record in which the ratio between the modernity of the overall sound and the old age of the tapes is in every respect astonishing. A set like the one recorded on September 13, 1968 at the Liederhalle, Mozartsaal in Stuttgart could easily have been composed (on the spot, naturally!) and released today without almost anyone noticing that 1) the players are out-and-out teenagers and 2) the music comes from the post-Palaeozoic era of collective perspicuity, Harth allegedly unaware of entities such as AMM or SME which were evidently navigating contiguous seas. What we need to stress yet again is the impressive up-building of the interplay, which often start from veritable compositional illuminations in turn giving life to earnestness-driven hypotheses for a new contrapuntal design, without the necessity of recurring to tricks or, even worse, reducing the whole to unwarranted noise. In reality, what immediately strikes the ears is the non-difficult digestibility of this material: despite the lack of a commonly intended “theme” or some “melody” to be caught from, and the fact that nonconformity can be detected nearly everywhere, that classic sense of fulfilment deriving from the fine-tuning of dissonance resolving in catharsis permeates the air every time we stop and concentrate a tad more on the wholesome allure of these sounds. The conclusive two parts of “Radio Live Concert In Prague” might be considered among of the most evocative moments this reviewer has experienced in hundreds of hours of A23H-typified expressions, an exquisite meshing of controlled apprehension and cultivated aggrandisement of minuscule mechanisms, sustaining the weight of a prolonged duration to reveal a world of correspondences and interrelationships one would gladly like to acknowledge as “ideal”. An inspiring ending for this marvellous triptych, chock full of secluded beauties finally revealed to worthy audiences. If many people had conveniently “forgotten” to attribute the deserved place in the history of contemporary improvisation to Alfred Harth’s conceptions and ideas, now blind shades and earplugs must be thrown away once and for all. This music should be studied.

in Temporary Fault
in Wikipedia