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Financial Times Review, hcmf Grizzana Ensemble

"...The festival’s final afternoon featured work that reminded me of Oliveros but was far more refreshing. Magnus Granberg and Jürg Frey both took inspiration from early music, atomising pieces by Byrd and Ockeghem respectively, but producing radical results. In Granberg’s How Vain Are All our Frail Delights? (2017), the players of the Ensemble Grizzana set off along separate paths, interpreting gobbets of musical material in their own way. Emerging into a 40-minute crystalline silence were rustles from the zither, electronically magnified breaths from the flautist, a gentle buffing of the cello strings. For the second time that weekend, there were tuned glasses of water.

In Frey’s Late Silence (2017), the ensemble pulled simple, quiet two-note phrases from the hush, calling and replying to one another, leading and holding back, before warm harmonies emerged as several instruments took up a single note and let it fade away. Despite the sparseness of the material, it felt purposeful and secure, in contrast with Oliveros’s fussy obfuscation. The result was meditative, questioning, universal, spiritual. It actually sounded like fragments echoing down the centuries.” ★★★★★

Josh Spero, The Financial Times, November 29th