ALEXANDER RASKATOV (b.1953): Piano Concerto "Night Butterflies", IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): The Rite of Spring.
Catalogue Number: 11Q081
Label: Seattle Symphony Media
Description: Raskatov's concerto comprises twelve brief movements, which function independently as virtuosic piano studies and evocative character pieces of very widely divergent character. Only intermittently does the music suggest anything to do with the kind of imagery normally associated with butterflies - even the initially delicate eleventh movement with its little bells and gentle melody soon takes a sinister turn. Nocturnal, haunted, nightmarish visions are conjured by the imposing block clusters or frantic piano figuration of some movements, while others have an eerie, spectral, static quality. There are surreal, cartoonish moments, neo-romantic episodes, strident sonorism - the butterflies of the title seem to be a metaphor for ephemeral dream images and ambiguous memories, praeternaturally vivid, gone in a flurry of intensely colored wings. Endlessly inventive, a tumult of ideas, the whole is remarkably accessible, in a slightly demented, polystylistic fashion. Tomoko Mukaiyama (piano), Seattle Symphony; Ludovic Morlot.