ANDERS ELIASSON (b.1947): Sinfonia per archi, Desert Point, Ostácoli.
Catalogue Number: 05K009
Description: As we said of the previous Eliasson disc we offered in December, the vital energy and originality of the composer's idiom in a deceptively familiar-sounding context marks him out as an especially individual voice in contemporary music. Spanning 20 years, these three works chart a sense of progression within Eliasson's very personal and individual tonal æsthetic, which was established early as an extended modal system which sounds undeniably tonal though with a kind of magnetic or gravitational attraction to tonal centers rather than the functional relationships in familiar tonal schemes. Desert Point is coarser of texture, more vehement of expression than the cleaner lines of Ostácoli, but both works share a sense of urgency, relentlessly questing and searching toward an uncertain goal over unstable ground. At almost 40 minutes the Sinfonia is a substantial three-movement work (played in one unbroken arch), more introspective than the earlier pieces, and more deliberate in its cumulative tension, which ebbs and flows, but always as variations in intensity on an overall ascending curve, somewhat reminiscent of Pettersson in this respect, though more structurally fluid, largely without the obsessive ostinati of the older composer. The more active middle movement does feature some overlapping repeated motifs which serve to drive the music forward more emphatically toward the relatively static tension of the last movement, which winds down into a calm without resolution. Arcos Chamber Orchestra; John-Edward Kelly. SACD hybrid