Album: opus spongebobicum
Author: Volker Mattei
Frank Rothkamm, who lives in New York and Los Angeles and comes from Germany, has already published quite a few CDs on his Flux label. None of which, however, sound like this new one or are even remotely on the same level. As a classically trained pianist he recently preferred electronic sounds.
"Opus Spongebobicum", a work with a strange and for me not translatable name, has an individual character and, like the album cover, does not match the intimate and ornate music. This music consists of 40 individually selectable, very short tracks, which together form a piece: the “Opus”. (Frank Rothkamm provides a explanation and includes a translation for the German audience with: "40 Veränderungen über die Geheimformel von SpongeBob Schwammkopf") In between each variation there are no spaces or (longer) breaks to separate one motif from the other. Without pause, the playful, lyrical, reflective composition, its individual parts, "Variations", play quite different motifs and their own rhythm and dynamics from beginning to end.
Frank Rothkamm demonstrates compositional depth. He exploits his ideas with a deeply emotional playing and shows craftsmanship that is easy-going and clean.
In the booklet are the classical influences referenced, right at the beginning Ludwig van Beethoven; Stockhausen, Franz Liszt, Bach. There is no comparison between "Opus Spongebobicum" and these models, which in themselves are un-comparable and are to be understood as inspiration, unlike in rock and jazz, and not as direct style models, but rather as a claim and Ideal.
Frank Rothkamm "Opus Spongebobicum" was composed between 2005 and 2008, in parallel to his avant-garde electronic albums. From a craft, rhythmic and dynamic perspective both styles are entirely separate fortunately. Only in this way gained “Opus” its demanding and exquisite quality.
The recording also sounds very good, the sound of the pianos is clear and clean, even reverberated loud passages are clear and very good to hear.
My recommendation to this very interesting and melodic piano work!
(translated from the original German by Google and the Composer)
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