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Las Canciones

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for 4 sopranos and 4 cellos
by Andreas Daams

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Comments regarding this work:

2002-02-17: Dortmunder Rundschau.

Ursula Albrecht's setting of Las Canciones is something like a theatrical poem, a contemplative working of spiritual song. Daam's music is contemporary music. Its instrumental parts derive from four cellos, which are wonderfully differentiated. . . . The music is contemporary but also wonderfully harmonic. Its four part passages constitute a choral and orchestral...

2002-02-17: Fermate.

Musical and visual elements unite in creating a fabric which gives voice to either soft lyrics or destructive drama -- but always with great emotion. The spirit song makes use of many possibilities from Opera, plays with light and space, different characters, and with voice and sound. A modern, mystical experience.

2002-02-17: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.

The four sopranos embody the winds which correspond to the four compass points. The invisible soul is surrounded by Zephyr's mild breeze. But she can easily be blown away by Boreas' cold blast. The whole thing takes place in a gauzy tent which is illuminated at first burning red and then gradually transformed into pure white. This is Ursula Albrecht's way of telling us that we're dealing with a veiled but at the same time well-thought out event.

2002-02-17: Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

The result is a lively, harmonious musical portrait with wonderful performers.

2002-02-17: Niederrhein Nachrichten.

Above all the lack of ostentation -- be it tonal or atonal -- gives this barely one hour piece such subtle penetrating power. The type of sound which Daams evokes from this apparatus is for long segments of the piece like an orchestral film: great music, made up out of little gestures. Las Canciones belongs less to the tradition of the didactic theater than to the genre of the synergistic Gesamtkunstwerk, whose result sort of sneaks in the back door rather than as the sum of its parts.

2002-02-17: NRZ.

Daams has created a dialogue between four soprano voices and four cellos, which moves across all levels of musical communication and is interpreted splendidly under the musical direction of Joerg Ritter. Under the direction of Ursula Albrecht with set and costumes by Marpa Schneider aided by slides, it culminates in a powerfully concentrated experience. One is especially impressed by this hour-long successful collaboration between music, setting and interpretation completely in the spirit of the text. A large and enthusiastic audience showed its appreciation with sustained applause.

2002-02-17: Rheinische Post.

Nothing makes the radiance of Andreas Daams' chamber opera more obvious than the silent anticipation one senses in the concert hall. The music and the presentation of the MusikTheatherKoeln performance of this multifaceted and complex core of this one hour long one act play...

2002-02-17: WAZ.

The four women stand there isolated, vulnerable and stiff. They are waiting. Then they find each other, latch onto each other's hands as if to dance, and then are immediately torn from each other again. The cellists are sure to lose a lot of horsehair from their bows when conductor Christoph Maria Wagner cuts loose with the psychomachy that Andreas Daams has rendered into his highly emotional music.

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