JULIAN ANDERSON (b.1967): In lieblicher Bläue for Violin and Orchestra, Alleluia for Chorus and Orchestra (both World Premiere Recordings), The Stations of the Sun.
Catalogue Number: 03R077
Description: In Liebliche Bläue is described by the composer as 'intentionally not a concerto' but a musical elaboration of or commentary on a late prose poem by Hölderlin, full of elusive, evocative imagery which is illustrated somewhat programmatically - you can easily tell where you are in the poem - and with a definite arch structure, from tentative beginnings to a desolate, lonely ending via light-footed playfulness, a lush, lyrical celebration of life, and rapt, full-blown ecstatic contemplation. Anderson's idiom is an attractive one, though unquestionably of our time; like many composers of his generation, he uses harmony as the primary evolving feature of his argument - not according to the strictures of tonality, but with a strong sense of harmonic movement that can sound tonal but with a certain weightlessness due to its freedom from fixed tonal gravitational centers. This, coupled with an exquisitely attuned ear for timbral color, is especially apt for this translucent, scintillant piece. Alleluia sets a 10th-century text exhorting all of creation to join together in praise. The music is commensurately grand and multi-textured, with opulent, colorful orchestration, dense harmony that owes something to Messiaen, and waves of choral jubilation. Sections of ecstatic dance alternate with sonorous soundscapes and prayerlike chant-derived meditation. The Stations of the Sun is a relatively early work that demonstrates the composer's confident handling of large, colorful orchestral forces. A kind of seasonal cycle illustrated by tableaux of folk and religious celebration, the work abounds in atmosphere and variety, energy and drama, but also a strain of sustained lyricism. Carolin Widmann (violin), London Philharmonic Choir, Lodnon Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Jurowski.