WIM HENDERICKX (b.1962): Symphony No. 1 “At the Edge of the World”, Oboe Concerto “Empty Mind I”, Groove for Percussion and Orchestra, Empty Mind I for Oboe and Electronics.
Catalogue Number: 10S011
Label: Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Description: Henderickx is drawn to large-scale, epic forms dealing with subjects of cosmological and mythological scope (as in our previous offering, Tejas (05N076), thus the monumental installation-sculptures of Anish Kapoor which provide the inspiration for the five movements of the imposing symphony. The piece is structured like a symphony, but the movements also function as tone-poems, vividly illustrating the ideas behind Kapoor's colossal forms; the propulsive 'scherzo', Svayambh, is the paint and wax-excreting travelling edifice; the meditative At the Edge of the World (its inverted dome illustrates the CD cover) is the work's slow movement; the tumultuous finale is the massive, bloated Leviathan, and so on. There is a good deal of tonality to the composer's language, often overlain but not obscured by harmonically unrelated haloes and organic currents of dissonant sound. In the oboe concerto, much of the latter is provided by electronics, which surround the soloist in a fluctuating soundfield while enriching the instrument's timbre with real-time processing. Parts of the work are strictly composed; others contain chance or improvised elements. The versions with and without orchestra are essentially the same, though the denser textures introduced by the largely tonal, accompanimental underpinning of the orchestra lends a certain monumentality to the leaner textures and harmony of the electronic rendition. Groove! is a percussion concerto, drawing on rhythms and instruments from various world cultures, which are also identified in the riotous combination of modes superimposed in the work's harmony. Propulsive polyrhythms drive this colorful, high-energy work, interspersed with episodes of sonorous, mystical calm. 2 CDs. Piet Van Bockstal (oboe), Pieterjan Vranckx (percussion), Royal Flemish Philharmonic; Martyn Brabbins, Edo de Waart (Symphony).