Boomkat Product Review:
**Doxy presents another spectacle of electro-acoustic history from Pierre Henry with both versions of his symphonic concrete music composed for an opera 'Orpheus 53' written with Pierre Schaeffer for the Donauescliingen Festival.** "At the time it stood out from among the many experiments as finished and significant; it sounds as valid today despite the great progress made by the technical evolution upon which electro-acoustical music so closely depends. I say symphonic because the score calls for a large number of "concrete instruments" the history and specifications of which we need not go into here; indeed one of the essential conditions of concrete music is transmutation, and the actual origin of a sound is relatively unimportant. But Pierre Henry profoundly individualizes instruments and instrumental (or choral) ensembles, as would classical composers, without adopting classical molds. What is astonishing is that here in the infancy of concrete music he had already reinvented everything: a mysterious quality in the orchestral fabric, a large, complex rhythmic structure, a polyphony of rhythms and sound planes obeying no known rules and nevertheless achieving a unity, an internal logic, that cannot be gainsaid. The "Veil Of Orpheus" is presented here in two versions : the first, considered too long (27 min. 15 sec.) in 1953, was abandoned in favor of the second (15 min, 40 sec.), which served as the ending of the Maurice Bejart-Pierre Henry ballet "Orpheus" in 1958. The juxtaposition of these two versions is interesting, and it is difficult to choose between them. The shorter version conserves all the essential elements of the longer and sounds as perfectly unified as if it had originally been written in this form. But the first version breathes more easily, and the feeling of mystery is more poignant, more profound, for the slowness of tempo corresponds to an essential characteristic of the composer's personality." Recommended!