Three major works from the renowned Swiss composer Thomas Fortmann - including the first CD recording of his chamber works Ladyboy and Tango Catolico, which have been very popular in broadcast performances. In Requiem for an Unborn Child we hear a work which has received enormous acclaim in Europe - challenging, uncomfortable words, eclectic and distinctive yet completely accessible musical language which draws much upon the German music-theatre tradition of Weill and cabaret-song.
“Thomas Fortmann has achieved what repeatedly eludes others, here and in America . Within his first few opening bars one is aware that the music possesses an integral sense of direction, sure compositional integrity, and a degree of emotional content that immediately engages the attention. Thomas Fortmann has crossed the divide separating pop from modern classical music. Best of all, he hasn’t plummeted into the chasm separating both, and littered with the fallen.” -
"Tango Catolico only hints at the tango. The rhythms are all shot to pieces, which makes the work all the more interesting. Ladyboy is a sharply atonal work of cogent phrasing and distinct sonic colors, none of them predictable, all of them interesting.”
Performance **** Sound ****
“...[Fortmann’s] compositional style is rather complex; he draws on techniques established by the likes of Schoenberg and Hindemith, but does not imitate them directly, thus making a language that is truly all his own. The Tango Catolico (for string quartet) is fascinating work that amazingly morphs an almost liturgical sound into a vibrant tango. The centerpiece of the album is Fortmann’s "Requiem for an Unborn Child," a rather ominous-sounding subject matter to be sure. Scored for clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and soprano, the sparse texture and effective text-painting allow listeners to focus on the meaning Fortmann is trying to get across.”