PETER-JAN WAGEMANS (b.1952): Symphony No. 7, Het grote lied, The City and the Angel
Catalogue Number: 06I106
Reference: KTC 1347
Description: Nothing if not inclusive in his æsthetic, Wagemans incorporates a bewildering diversity of influences and references into his huge (just under an hour) symphony. Polystylistic not so much in the sense of creating deliberately jarring juxtapositions of conflicting elements a là Schnittke, as embracing past and present and making everything an equal part of his own voice, sometimes risking a kind of musical sensory overload, like Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Thus elements of Beethoven coexist with Webern, clangorous tuned percussion carillons (except that some instruments are tuned in quarter-tones, introducing a further exütension of tone color) that might be related to sections of the Turangalîla Symphony alternate with formless masses and shifting clouds of sound that might almost be by Xenakis everything is fair game for inclusion in this tumultuous exercise in imaginative exuberance. It goes without saying that the orchestra is enormous and utilised for the greatest possible coloristic potential. By the time a space-age Brucknerian chorale imposes itself in the final section, it feels like a logical conclusion, and a vindication of Wagemans' idea that the ideal path for contemporary music lies in freedom from ideologies and a willingness to embrace all that has gone before. Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Hans Leenders, Michal Hamel (The City).