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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Eivind Buene: Possible Cities/Essential Landscapes Blu-ray Audio Review

The Performance


Composer Eivind Buene is a young Norwegian artist who has already made substantial contributions to the world of contemporary classical music. The pieces that make up this concert are listed below:

  • Possible Cities/Fragment
  • Grid
  • Possible Cities
  • Landscape with Ruins
  • Ultrabucolic Studies/Night Piece/Miniature Landscape
  • Molto Fluid
  • Nature Morte.

The program is performed by a well established contemporary music ensemble Cikada directed by Christian Eggen and consisting of a string quintet, piano, percussion, clarinet and flute.

Audio Quality


The master recording is performed at the highest available resolution DXD 352.8 kHz/24-bit and then mixed down to yield a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio  or 2-channel LPCM (both at 192kHz/24-bit resolution). In the surround versions, there are various combinations of instruments placed at the side and rear of the listener for a truly immersive experience. However, the 2-channel version is also quite impressive. Those wishing to transfer the music to their computer, home entertainment system or mobile device may use the mShuttle program to download files in FLAC (96/24), WAV (uncompressed) or MP3 (lossy) resolution, respectively. Recorded in the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway, the venue seems ideal for the recreation of literally every detail of the score.

Supplemental Materials


The rating is based on the additional high-resolution multi-channel SACD included in this package. There is also a booklet with liner notes about this program, its composer and performers.

The Definitive Word



Gaining access to “new” music can be difficult as the conventions of the classical framework are often bent or broken. Buene’s musical idiom is a clear 20th century one with echoes of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Gyorgi Ligeti, and John Cage. In the composer’s own words, one can approach this program as “moving through a city… a good metaphor for listening to new music. A big city will invite you through unfamiliar streets, into dark alleyways and sudden openings of lights.” There is an angularity and off-balance nature to the two major works, Possible Cities and Essential Landscapes. The shorter works Ultrabucolic Studies/Night Pieces/Miniature Landscape and Molto Fluido are a little more accessible, but will still be a challenging listen to those accustomed to more melodic stuff. This BD will appeal to the adventuresome among the audience if not those in the mainstream.

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The Performance
Audio Quality
Supplemental Materials



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