David Felder’s expressive song cycle Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux, for soprano, bass, orchestra and electronics, is structured around the four stanzas of the eponymous poem by René Daumal (1908–1944). The piece – presented here in SACD surround – begins with a recitation as Daumal’s poem is electronically diffused around the space, each stanza heard at one of its four cardinal points to form a circle. This, like all the electronics throughout the piece, is based on a spoken recitation of the poem, its phonemes and formants broken up and digitally remoulded into drums, gongs, bells and more. The music, too, mirrors the poetry and stretches from lush and fervent to more fractured and anxious as the piece develops. The piece is herein performed by a joint collection of Ensemble Signal and the Slee Sinfonia, with the extraordinary soloists Heather Buck and Ethan Herschenfeld, and the ultimate contemporary conductor, Brad Lubman.

David Felder: Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux (2014 version)
1. I Preface/Stanza 1a (Daumal) 4:00
2. II Stanza 1b (Daumal) 3:40
3. III Spring Light (Creeley) 5:13
4. IV Stanza 2a (Daumal) 1:31
5. V Fragments (from Neruda) 1:41
6. VI Stanza 2b (Daumal) 2:15
7. VII Stanza 3a (Daumal) 4:52
8. VIII Stanza 3b (Daumal) 2:33
9. IX Buffalo Evening (Creeley) 9:13
10. X Stanza 4a (Daumal) 3:26
11. XI Insomnia (Gioia) 6:06
12. XII Stanza 4b (Daumal) 4:27
Total time: 49:03

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