MIGUEL KERTSMAN (b.1965): Amazonia, Sinfonia Concertante Brasileira for Flute and Orchestra, Chamber Symphony No. 1 "Acorda!" for Dark Orchestra, Soprano, Contralto and Percussion.
Catalogue Number: 11O011
Description: Active as an independent music producer and consultant, Brazilian-American Kertsman also produces music in non-classical genres and some of the hits that come up when Googling his name show plenty of stuff which wouldn't belong in Records International. But this trio of early orchestral works from 1985, 1989 and 1996, certainly does. They all have infusions, to a greater or lesser extent, of the multi-ethnic music and rhythms of northeastern Brazil, from the 11-minute chamber symphony which depicts waking in a (presumably) Brazilian city with the sounds and depictions of traffic, the sea, and crowds of people and which closes with an ethereal, almost-but-not-quite New Agey "Silent Meditation, Ascension", to the 16-minute orchestral tone-poem, redolent of elemental power and barely-suppressed energy, inspired by a flight over the Amazon rain-forest at dawn (a colorful and moody depiction with an environmental undertone). The 32-minute Sinfonia Concertante is the most ethnically Brazilian of all three, lushly orchestrated, with a moody Choros for its slow movement and a comic, picture-postcard finale "Rondo: The Dumb Donkey Called Jackass" evoking a trader and recalcitrant beast-of-burden in the Brazilian hinterlands. Katazyna Dondalska (soprano), Christa Ratzenböck (contralto), Wolfgang Schulz (flute), Bruckner Orchestra Linz; Dennis Russell Davies.