JONATHAN LESHNOFF (b.1973): Symphony No. 2 “Innerspace”, Zohar for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 12S010
Label: ASO Media
Description: Leshnoff's hugely impressive symphony is based on the Kabbalistic teachings of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in his book "Inner Space". The book deals with the mystical concepts surrounding the relationship between God and his creation, and the discussion of how an infinite being can coexist with an infinite universe that can be perceived by humankind. For such a lofty subject, Leshnoff has enlisted the full resources of the Romantic symphony in all its musical and philosophical grandeur. After an arresting introduction, the second and fourth movements have an urgent, overwhelming energy and momentum in the propulsive rhythms and contemporary tonality of our time. In between, the slow movement is a profound and powerful meditation in the Romantic tradition. As the music ascends through the universes from the perceptible but overwhelming, it finally arrives at the extraordinary final 'movement' 'unimaginable', which is, symbolically, inaudible. Zohar was commissioned and written immediately after the symphony, for the same forces as, and to complement, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. The idiom, too, complements the Brahms, richly neo-romantic, with massive choral and orchestral textures for the esoteric, mystical texts, and a more intimate setting of texts reflecting a human perspective. The texts comment on the mystical aspects of the Pentateuch, and elicit music of grandeur and profundity, vigor and celebratory gaiety from the composer. Texts included. Jessica Rivera (soprano), Nmon Ford (baritone), Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Robert Spano.