MATS LARSSON GOTHE (b.1959): Symphony No. 2 (Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra), The Autumn Diary, The Apotheosis of the Dance (Västerås Sinfonietta).
Catalogue Number: 05R009
Label: db Productions
Description: The symphony was written during a period of depression and stress in the composer's life, after the exhausting composition and premiere of his opera Poet and Prophetess. By Gothe's own admission this intense, dark and brooding work was an exercise in catharsis, its title in this context best understood in Seamus Heaney's interpretation as 'there are tears at the heart of things'. A half-hour single span in a broad extension of sonata form, the symphony is firmly grounded in tonality and bears traces of the composer's earlier studies with Aho, and in its section of obsessive, inescapable driven propulsion, of Pettersson. Gothe's gift for sustaining tension in long passages of arching, desolate melody comes to the fore in the work's introspective second subject development. A powerful, emotionally harrowing experience. The Apotheosis of the Dance, as the title suggests, riffs on the tumultuous, motoric energy that imbues Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Gothe borrows some of Beethoven's most startling rhythmic and harmonic gestures and constructs a vigorous propulsionist scherzo in his own style but constantly referring to the original. The Autumn Diary shares many features with the symphony, though here the mood is one of pervasive melancholy rather than despair and tragedy. 'Diary' because the work consists of discrete episodes of different character suggesting diary pages recounting different experiences and moods, from reflective and melodic to agitated and intense (again with potent rhythmic drive); 'Autumn' to evoke the vast, mist-shrouded, somewhat Sibelian landscapes the piece seems to inhabit. Fredrik Burstedt (conductor).