HENRIK HELLSTENIUS (b.1963): In Memoriam for Violin, String Orchestra and Percussion (Violin Concerto No. 2), Like Objects in a Dark Room for Orchestra, ØRJAN MATRE (b.1979): Violin Concerto, preSage for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05R074
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Hellstenius' concerto was written in memory of the composer's father, who died of Alzheimers'. This informs the style, trajectory and character of the work, which abounds in fragile, insistent yet increasingly fragmented and disconnected gestures, like the traces of disintegrating memory. Underlying the soloist's evanescent, evaporating wisps of sound - there is an affinity with Sciarrino in the composer's fragile, subtle yet extremely virtuosic instrumental textures - is a persistently recurring heavy tread, an inexorable funeral march receding into the encroaching shadows. Objects is a mysterious piece, in which recurring motifs are encountered in various guises and combinations - the aural equivalent of trying to identify unknown physical objects by touch in darkness - with timbral homages to Sciarrino and Nono in the precise yet ambiguous sonorities, the whole rhythmically anchored by the persistent snare-drum pulsation borrowed from B.A. Zimmermann's eerie penultimate work. Matre's concerto comprises two movements, the first predominantly slow and dark-hued, though with persistent mysterious pulsating punctuation in rich harmony and timbre and episodes of agitation, over which the violin soars in its most stratospheric register. A quarter-tone inflected folk-like melody rounds out the movement. The second, much faster, explores some of the same material in a much faster tempo, with a restless underlying pulse. PreSage's punning title refers to the section 'The Sage' of Le sacre, and builds a mysterious, enigmatic concert-opening piece based on the slight material of this brief movement, with recognizable pre-echoes of the Stravinsky as it accumulates energy and wildness. Peter Herresthal (violin), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Rolf Gupta.