Metamorphosis; In a Landscape; Ophelia; Two Pieces for Piano; Quest –
Herbert Henck, p. – ECM 1844, 69:22 ***:
Difficult listening here. If you were expecting Windham Hill, change
the channel now! That being said, while this is not terribly
approachable music, it is very well performed by Mr. Henck and is
exquisitely recorded in typical ECM fashion.
Drawn from John Cage’s early work for piano in the 30’s and 40’s, this
is deconstructive art school music at its best. I would bet money
that if you were able to get a few beers in Brian Eno, he would admit
to some inspiration for his famous series of ambient albums here.
Again, there is not much sense of rhythm or structure here and the disc
is broken down into nine tracks spanning 70 minutes. While the
liner notes are intriguing, mentioning Cale taking piano lessons with
Schonenberg (who also remarks that he has no sense of harmony) this one
is best left on the shelf for your audiophile club friends, as
background music for cooking or perhaps getting unwanted guests out of
the house. My nosey next door neighbor was over the other day and
when I put this one on, she made tracks for the door pronto. But for
those of you that like more avant works, this is very intriguing and I
guarantee after a few auditions will grow on you.
– Jeff Dorgay