Albedo is the measure of the reflectivity of surfaces that are not themselves illuminative. The brighter the object, the more of the incident light it reflects.
The themes of light and reflection but also of darkness and absorption are the subject of Federspiel’s new program Albedo. The melodies oscillate between old folk songs, fantastical worlds of sound and virtuoso music experiments.
Sometimes, this can sound calm and soft, like in the piece samtig matt – a piece with little light and hardly any external reflection which in the end opens up towards the world. Or the light is omitted – like, for instance, in Schützentänze. Originating from the Salzkammergut region, those dances are a beaming spark of Austrian exuberance in 5/8 time.
In its most recent program Albedo, Federspiel excels in spirited and joyful playing which the septet’s audience is well used to but is in no way to be taken for granted. On their brass instruments, the musicians effortlessly oscillate between drama and tranquility, fragility and strength, between light and shadow.