ADAM GORB (b.1958): Symphony No. 1 in C for Wind Ensemble, Love Transforming for Wind Ensemble, Serenade for Spring for Chamber Orchestra, Weimar for Chamber Ensemble, Dancing in the Ghetto for Ensemble.
Catalogue Number: 07S075
Label: Prima Facie
Description: Bold, colorful and very accessible, these works for large ensemble are full of lively energy, vivid imagery and a communicative sense of narrative expressed in a tonal vocabulary for which Stravinskyan neoclassicism is the most obvious antecedent. Dancing in the Ghetto was originally intended as the overture to an opera about migrants from Eastern Europe, which explains the folk-like inflections. A hectic celebration in the face of impending calamity, the work resembles an urban Le sacre, a work to which it makes reference. Weimar is an historical tableau of the Isherwood era in Berlin, with its decadence, nightclubs, and the hideous rise of the Nazis. Frantic energy gives way to smoky jazz, channelling Weill, then a vulgar, oppressive march batters its way into the proceedings before a final defiant re-emergence of the sensual nightlife material from earlier. The 'Symphony' is a miniature, lightweight, effervescent take on the form, neoclassical with hints of minimalism and references to Beethoven and Stravinsky. The genial and entertaining five-movement Serenade is lively and humorous, with more tongue in cheek Stravinsky references and a sense of warmth and well-being. Love Transforming is a more serious and dramatic work, a large slow movement charting the course of love from anguished turbulence through uncertainty to peaceful fulfilment. After the brash opening, the piece is mainly introspective in character, more harmonically ambiguous than the breezy tonality of much of the other music on the disc, though no less enjoyable or approachable. Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble; Mark Heron, Timothy Reynish, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic 10/10 Ensemble; Clark Rundell, Manchester Camerata; Heron.