MAGNUS LINDBERG (b.1958): Graffiti for Chamber Chorus and Orchestra, Seht die Sonne for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 03L107
Reference: ODE 1157-2
Description: Graffiti is a large-scale setting of unusual texts - 2000-year-old Latin inscriptions from Pompeii. Proving that nothing is truly new, Lindberg finds texts that eerily resonate through the centuries, revealing exactly the same preoccupations as contemporary internet 'graffiti' - sports stars (gladiators, in those days), money and, of course, love and sex. The piece is not programmatic, and the only suggestion of the destruction of the bustling society is an unexpected level unison toward the end, a sudden unanticipated stillness; its dramatic strength arises, rather, from its sense of day-to-day intimacy with the vibrant details of so distant a culture. A Stravinskyan feel pervades much of the imaginatively scored orchestral writing - the early ballets - and the open-interval, stark choral textures (Les Noces). Lively, propulsive choruses also intermittently suggest Orff, with even a touch of romantic-minimalism. Firmly based in tonality and possessing a broad emotional spectrum, the work is thoroughly accessible and deeply affecting. The half-hour tone poem 'Behold the Sun' takes its title from the final chorus of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, and relates also to late Mahler. The work's turbulent late-romantic feel clearly pays tribute to music of a century ago; this sunrise is clearly the summation or hard-won resolution of a melting-pot of emotional strife, an outpouring of the energy of the Romantic soul. Its highly chromatic, tonal vocabulary sounds like a vital, living extension of its musical precursors, never a reactionary reflection of them. Helsinki Chamber Choir, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo.