Göttsching, Manuel - Concert For Murnau

Year of Release: 2005
Label: MG Art
Catalog Number: MG.ART 302
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:38:00

F.W. Murnau. If the name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps the silent movie Nosferatu does. Manuel Göttsching. If the name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps the band Ash Ra Tempel does. Or perhaps not; it's not really important. Here's the breakdown: Manuel Göttsching, an electronic progressive rock and Krautrock pioneer who some now fashion a minimalist composer, was commissioned to write a score to accompany a silent film of his choice by the Filmfest Braunschweig folks. He happened to pick F.W. Murnau's much-lesser-known Schloss Vogelöd. The result, without the accompanying film, is Concert For Murnau, sans a few bits here and there. And this, my friends, is the review.

Those acquainted with G?ttsching's more modern, often sublime, and always expansive electronic output will see their expectations only halfway corresponded on this record, since the other half resides somewhere different and (arguably) a bit less intimate. Sure, the longest sections of this soundtrack are trademark G?ttsching material, but the rest is a quasi-minimalist set of small chamber pieces written for violins, cello, and horns. Purely acoustic pieces? You bet. Quasi-minimalist? That's right. While the not-so-interesting "Demaskierung" begins with a harmonic language straight out of Philip Glass' Glassworks and a definite minimalist nature, its companions don't quite make the tag, although they're mighty close. But enough about definitions, let's sink our teeth into this baby.

As should be expected, some of the electronic portions of Concert For Murnau are simply a delight, particularly the beautifully warm and flowing "The Party" and the nocturnally gorgeous "Der Abend." However, "High Noon" seems to have needed the images from Murnau's film to work effectively, and "Saint and Sinner" is overly mellifluous, so that, much like with other soundtracks, it's impossible not to wonder what the effect would be if they were listened to with the movie playing. Moreover, later G?ttsching efforts require vast expanses of time to develop and embrace the listener's psyche, something that was obviously limited by the time constraints of writing to an established time frame. No wonder then that this German composer decided to use some chamber pieces as well, right? Right.

However, those are a bag of mixed results as well. The hunting horn call nature of "Ouvert&uum;re" is naïvely charming in a way, and the dark string writing of "Die Beichte" and "Accused" is simply enthralling. But just as with their electronic counterparts, there are a couple of slackers here as well, in particular the tediously repeating violin motifs of "Auf Zur Jagd." The overall result? An enjoyable album, to be sure, but nothing really spectacular. Concert For Murnau is, in a way, a sampler of the greatness that G?ttsching has amply demonstrated throughout the years, and in that respect an interesting effort to which to listen, but without the film reel rolling simultaneously, it's simply impossible to put it right up there with the rest of Göttsching's magnificent output.

Simliar artists: Klaus Schulze, Tim Blake, Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass

Ouvertüre (2:01) / The Party (9:53) / Auf Zur Jagd (5:21) / Der Abend (4:28) / Die Beichte (3:04) / Double Or Quits (2:10) / High Noon (8:47) / Accused (3:04) / Saint And Sinner (9:48) / Demaskierung (3:39) / Leitmotiv (2:17) / Zirkus (0:37)

Manuel Göttsching - electronics
Josef Ziga - violin
George Dudea - violin
Christian Bussmann - cello
Jens Köhli - horn
Margie Imandt - horn
Marc Niemann - conductor

Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel (1971)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Seven-Up (1972)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn (1973)
Ash Ra Tempel - Starring Rosi (1973)
Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975/2002)
Ashra - New Age Of Earth (1976)
Ashra - Blackouts (1977)
Ashra - Correlations (1979)
Ashra - Belle Alliance (1980)
E2-E4 (1984)
Ashra - Walkin' The Desert (1989)
Dream & Desire (1991) (recorded 1977)
Ashra - Tropical Heat (1991) (recorded 1985/86)
Ash Ra Tempel - Le Berceau De Cristal (1994)
Ashra - Sunrain: The Virgin Years (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 1 (recorded 1970-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 2 (recorded 1970-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 3 (recorded 1971-1975) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 4 (recorded 1973-1979) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 5 (recorded 1973-1989) (1996)
Ashra/Ash Ra Tempel/G?ttsching - The Private Tapes Vol. 6 (recorded 1971-1979) (1996)
Ashra - Sauce Hollandaise (1998)
Best Of The Private Tapes (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Join Inn/Starring Rosi (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen/Seven-Up (1998)
Ashra - @shra (1998)
Ash Ra Tempel - Gin Rose: Live (2000)
Ash Ra Tempel - Friendship (2000)
Ashra - @shra Vol. 2 (2002)
Ashra - The Making Of (2002)
Die Mulde (2005)
Concert For Murnau (2005)
E2-E4 Live (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin DE

Added: May 8th 2006
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.ashra.com
Hits: 2191
Language: english


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