BECHARA EL-KHOURY (b.1957): Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 62 "Aux frontière de nulle part" (Sarah Nemtanu [violin], Orchestre National de France; Kurt Masur), Horn Concerto, Op. 74 "The Dark Mountain" (David Guerrier [horn], ONF; Jean-Claude Casadesus), Clarinet Concerto, Op. 78 "Autumn Pictures" (Patrick Messina [clarinet], Paris Chamber Orchestra; Olari Elts).
Catalogue Number: 08Q080
Description: The violin concerto (1999-2002) contains many allusions to Berg's concerto, freely tonal with great washes of colorful orchestral sound and an extended solo cadenza for the soloist between two larger movements. The two wind instrument works are inspired by specific associations with El-Khoury's native Lebanon. The horn concerto (2007-08) is a powerful work with its intense lyricism and large dynamic contrasts; sometimes I thought of Ruggles' Sun-Treader and others of the molten brass in some of Robert Simpson's symphonies while the clarinet concerto (2009-2010) is a much more poetic and contained utterance although still with plenty of darker orchestral colors.