Shadowtime: the CD
now on I-Tunes
NMC is proud to announce the release of Brian Ferneyhough's opera Shadowtime, setting Charles Bernstein's poetic and complex libretto of seminal 20th-century philosopher Walter Benjamin's last days and a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld.
Recorded in July 2005, in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and the English National Opera (ENO), Shadowtime is released on NMC on 3rd April 2006, performed by outstanding contemporary music specialists Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam, and conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Acclaimed guitarist Mats Scheidegger features in the opera's Scene II, Les Froissements d'Ailes de Gabriel (The Rustling of Gabriel's Wings), while the combined role of pianist and reciter is taken by Nicolas Hodges.
Reviews of the 2005 London performance:
"Bernstein's text makes oblique manoeuvres round the themes of Benjamin's work, and Ferneyhough sets them to complex yet frequently beautiful music, a mixture of tough and tender modernism."
for the CD:
Described as a "thought opera", Brian Ferneyhough's Shadowtime sets Charles Bernstein's inventive and complex libretto based on the work, life and imagined death of philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin: it includes a movement for a speaking pianist - Opus Contra Naturam, the opera's fourth scene - a guitar concerto (Scene II) and ends in an ethereal haze of voices and electronics, Stelae for Failed Time.
Shadowtime was recorded in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and English National Opera at the London Coliseum production in July 2005; this release has been made possible by funding from Stanford University, the Holst Foundation and by the generosity of the artists involved:
Nicolas Hodges, piano/ reciter