ANDERS HILLBORG (b.1954): King Tide, Exquisite Corpse, Dreaming River, Eleven Gates.
Catalogue Number: 09N077
Description: Our last all-Hillborg disc was on Ondine eight years ago (05E078) where two of the three works were concertos. These are all purely orchestral, in various forms demonstrating the composer's fascination with the textures of orchestral sound. Hillborg worked in electronic music before devoting himself to the orchestra and 1999's King Tide is a meditative and dynamic work which sounds like electronic music in the wave-like ebb and flow of orchestral strings. Completely different is Exquisite Corpse (2002) which runs through Ligeti-like complexity, homage to Stravinsky, hammering urban rhythms, chorales and late-romantic string writing in less than 15 minutes. Chinese oboes (suonas) give a modal flavor to 1998's Dreaming River whose two episodes are rhythmically compelling, with a lively percussion complement and, afterward, a sixteen-part adagio as an example of modern polyphony. Eleven Gates (an L.A. Philharmonic commission from 2005-06) consists of eleven sections (totalling 19 minutes) with rather surreal titles (like "Toy Pianos on the Surface of the Sea" and "Confused Dialogues with Woodpecker") which careen from hyperactive winds and bird sounds to dreamy underwater seascapes. Now and then, fragments of 20th century compositions appear and disappear just as suddenly. Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sakari Oramo (King Tide), Alan Gilbert (Corpse), Esa-Pekka Salonen. SACD hybrid.