Manos Milonakis – Festen

Manos Milonakis’ ‘Festen’ is the latest release on Moderna Records; the label of Montreal, Québec, that continues to yield the highest quality in new modern classical music. Milonakis manages to bring intricate classical composition and musicianship together with subtle elements of electronica with great sophistication; the well-crafted combination establishes a sense of grandness without becoming at all overpowering, remaining as wide and spacious as it is uncompromising and precise. ‘Festen’ is a strong work, even separate from the adapted theatrical it was scored for as an original soundtrack – the albums defines its own musical statement with complimentary instrumental experimentation and enthusiastically welcomes the risk of the unconventional. ‘Lobster Soup’, appearing third on the album, is more typical of the modern-classical genre, bringing washed out tones of melancholy before an unexpected offset of staccato string sequences and processed percussion of ‘Hide and Seek’. The album’s closure, titled ‘Festen Theme’, is a stand out track, gathering the expressive and atmospheric textures, strict arpeggiated synthesizers, and lively chordal melodies that frequent the album.