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Classical Music Review

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Young Prometheus
The Music of Mark Volker


Composer: Mark Volker
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 February 2018

Inspired by poetry and prose, composer Mark Volker’s latest release, Young Prometheus, is inspired by reactions. From the philosophical reaction to the “Three Quotations" to the physical reactions in “Echoes of Yesterday," Volker creates an atmosphere that both conveys the optimistic and ominous...

Mark Volker’s Young Prometheus opens with the three piece movement 'Three Quotations', each segment is inspired by a piece of writing from a different author. It opens with the fluttering flutes and lofty strings of 'Morning Chorus; evolving into the strong sounds and tense resilience of 'I Am'. The final movement, 'Future Shock', develops relentlessly, creating an overwhelming atmosphere as a reaction to modern society’s never-ending movement.

'Dust to Dust' and 'Echoes of Yesterday' are stand alone pieces. 'Dust to Dust' is inspired by Raphaëlle Goethals’ painting 'Bliss'. While in 'Echoes of Yesterday', Volker takes the experimental route and creates a composition in which a solo clarinetist performs a complete composition while a computer is programmed to respond to the live performance. At certain points in the score, the software creates sonic events including echoes, transpositions, and synthesized sound, persistently juxtaposing the acoustic with the electronic. It truly is an interesting experimental piece that beautifully blends a classical approach with a modern twist.

The album concludes with the eight part 'Young Prometheus', which was originally composed as a score for a ballet inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.

It's an interesting album, that constantly shifts and evolves. It's a release with a lot of depth which you'll get years of listening pleasure from.


Darren Rea

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