Op. 163 Penthesilea: The Reality Is A Ghost In My Mind / In Penthesileas Hohle (In Penthesilea's Cave)

HC 004LP HC 004LP

Beautiful, haunting, and somber, this double-LP presents the entire recording from Henning Christiansen's Heinrich von Kleist tribute at Rene Block's Rosenfest festival, Berlin, 1984. The Reality Is A Ghost In My Mind (first LP) is a work that unfolds patiently with a mix of field recordings; wind, bird song and the sound of snow being crushed underfoot all unite in a foreboding atmosphere. In Penthesileas Höhle (second LP) features electronic treatments to the original field recordings found on The Reality Is A Ghost In My Mind, a representation of psychological reorientation perhaps? A deep ground tone (or "root" as Henning calls it) leads the listener through a variety of realistic and unrealistic environments. As Henning says in his essay reprinted on the back sleeve: "Then comes a section where the field recordings of the sea, the storm, birds, cars and other things, are built together so that the realism of these sounds become unreal. For example, the cars drive into the sea and the birds are singing within the storm. When you hear footsteps in the show, it's Kleist sneaking past Deutsche Schauspielhaus. When you hear a deep, human sleeping noise, it's Achilles sleeping. When you hear hammering it's the weapon smith working. When you hear a stone being thrown it means the unanswered question: 'Who threw the first stone?' These recordings lead to the finale where Carla Tatò's haunted vocals into her singing mournfully along with Jan Tilman Schade's violoncello and tuba, then a chainsaw appears." A previously unreleased project of Henning Christiansen, monumental in scope, traversing years, countries and now, formats. Pentheseila is one of the most ambitious works in the entire Henning Christiansen oeuvre. A large-scale work from the mid-eighties based on the play of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist (1808). Both Henning and his widow, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, were enthusiastic about Kleist's text, both making works around the themes within this portent text. Henning Christiansen first developed a work around this text for the Rosenfest festival performed in Berlin in 1984. Rosenfest was curated by René Block and featured a variety of composers presenting works in response to Kleist's work including Robert Ashley, "Blue" Gene Tyranny etc. Henning formulated a composition utilizing tape, field recordings, voice, soprano, and violoncello alongside the homemade instruments of Werner Durand. The live presentation was then expanded upon and first performed two years later at Teatro Olímpico, Rome on the November 8th, 1986 as directed by Carlo Quartucci. Along with the five-CD set (HC 005CD) sharing the four and a half hour backing track prepared for the Teatro Olímpico performance in Rome in 1986, these releases make up a substantial overview of one of the most significant works in the entire Christiansen canon. Includes writings Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Henning Christiansen and artwork by Ursula Reuter Christiansen. Small excerpts of these works previously appeared on one of the 7"s in the Rosenfest Berlin 1984 catalog (Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD) and the compilation CD Ghosts And Monsters: Technology And Personality In Contemporary Music (1999).