FABIAN MÜLLER (b.1964): Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra, Labyrinth for String Orchestra, Suite for Cello and String Orchestra, Lied des Ensamen for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 11L094
Label: Musiques Suisses
Reference: MGB CD 6249
Description: Müller's splendid concerto does all the things you want a big-boned, emotionally charged Romantic virtuoso concerto to do, but in contemporary terms. The work is tonal, especially the first movement, and abounds in broad, Rachmaninovian melodies and sumptuous harmony. The first movement is propulsively urgent; the second, very rhythmically flexible, dissonant enough to avoid any hint of reactionary conventionality, but warmly melodic and harmonically rich nonetheless. The finale is a whirlwind scherzo with a distinct hint of Prokofiev. Labyrinth is based on the metamorphosis of motivic material, a metaphorical life-cycle beginning in astringent harmonies, then broadening into the full bloom of life, urgent and dramatic, then dying away. The Suite is a conventionally structured five-movement work, lively and idiomatically virtuosic, from a former-cellist composer. Here and in Labyrinth gestures and harmonic turns, and a certain obsessive continuity of line, strongly recall Shostakovich. This eloquent lyrical linearity is also very evident in the Lied. Accompanied by the orchestra's background of tonal material veiled in a glowing aura of clustered dissonance the solo saxophone intones a continuous line of somber melody, concentrated and intense, periodically interrupted by more active passages which rapidly subside once more into songful, serious contemplation. Adrian Oetiker (piano), Pi-Chin Chien (cello), Harry White (sax), Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Ruben Gazarian.