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Gavin Bryars – After The Requiem (1991)

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Gavin Bryars – After The Requiem (1991)

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1 	After The Requiem	15:48

Cello – Tony Hinnigan
Electric Guitar – Bill Frisell
Viola – Alexander Balanescu, Kate Musker

2 	The Old Tower Of Löbenicht	16:00

Bass – Gavin Bryars
Bass Clarinet – Roger Heaton
Electric Guitar – Bill Frisell
Horn [Tenor Horn], Piano – Dave Smith
Percussion – Martin Allen, Simon Limbrick
Violin – Alexander Balanescu

3 	Alaric I Or II	15:15

Alto Saxophone – Ray Warleigh
Baritone Saxophone – Julian Argüelles
Soprano Saxophone – Evan Parker, Stan Sulzmann

4 	Allegrasco	19:46

Bass – Gavin Bryars
Clarinet – Roger Heaton
Electric Guitar – Bill Frisell
Percussion – Martin Allen, Simon Limbrick
Piano – Dave Smith 
Violin – Alexander Balanescu


After the Requiem continued Gavin Bryars' journey away from the more experimental work that made his reputation early in his career toward pieces possessing a more melancholic and romantic quality. In two of the works herein, "The Old Tower of Lobenicht" and "Allegrasco," one can hear echoes of his brilliant composing on the Hommages album. But where the romantic elements were stricter and more crystalline on the prior effort, here there is an expansiveness that sometimes succeeds and at other times verges on kitsch. Guitarist Bill Frisell performs on three of the four compositions, but his creamy, sustained chords tend to sound somewhat bland and occasionally subvert some otherwise very attractive melodic material. The standout track is a saxophone quartet number, "Alaric I or II," featuring the surprising presence of Evan Parker. In fact, Bryars' earliest musical ventures were as a member of the British free improvisation community, so the inclusion of Parker has some historical background. The composition is a very enjoyable melange of minimalist technique and references to Gershwin that manages to cohere into a satisfying whole. Fans of Bryars' more substantial work from the '70s or his improvising skills in groups like Joseph Holbrooke may find After the Requiem a little too sweet for their tastes, while listeners who are looking for something a bit meatier than Arvo Part or Henryk Gorecki may find their appetite satisfied. ---Brian Olewnick, Rovi


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