AGP138 - Ulpiu Vlad I (1945-)
AGP138 presents works by the Romanian composer Ulpiu Vlad. These tracks were professionally recorded, I believe under the supervision of the composer, and made available to me with the approval of the composer by a fellow Romanian who is one of the AGP's most dedicated partisans. All of the objective information I have on the works and the recordings is in the track listing below, but I can also offer my own reactions after listening to these tracks several times.
This is the sort of music I would want to compose if I were able to compose. It is not atonal, but neither is it obviously tonal in a traditional sense. In Poetica Viselor, temporary tonal centers are established by long-held notes as other lines weave various intervals around them, and there is frequent tonal ambiguity as one tonal center passes away and another asserts itself. Just enough dissonance is produced through the interweaving of lines and competing tonal centers to achieve a truly delicious sound texture. The exploration of shifting tonal centers reminds me on the one hand of an alap movement in a North Indian raga performance, and at the same time of the epochal adagio movement that begins Beethoven's C-sharp minor string quartet. The music in this work is mostly gentle verging on static with occasional outbursts of more chaotic sound. De nuntă is a choral work that unites harmonies that will be familiar to aficionados of Balkan vocal ensembles such as the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, with vocal textures and techniques such as Luciano Berio used in Sinfonia and other works. The combination is a lot of fun.
The recordings are rich and detailed throughout. More information on the composer can be found at The Living Composers Project and from the Uniunea Compozitorilor Şi Muzicologilor Din Rom‚nia.
I have titled this installment Ulpiu Vlad I not because I have another installment in the works; but, well, a guy can dream.