ERNST REIJSEGER (b.1954): The Volcano Symphony.
Catalogue Number: 03S070
Label: Winter & Winter
Reference: 910 240-2
Description: Well, this is unusual. In a good way, and several unexpected ones. If the title 'Volcano Symphony' led you to expect something monumental by an elderly Nordic composer, probably recorded on BIS or Ondine with Leif Segerstam conducting a colossal orchestra incorporating enough percussion to qualify as a weapon of mass destruction - this is not that. Not even close. What it is is an eleven-movement suite written for, and perfectly suited to, a chamber orchestra that would normally be in its element giving original instrument performances of Bach or Vivaldi. The composer, who has worked in the fields of improvisation, jazz, world music and new-agey ambient music, appears in some movements providing delicate sound effects on his five-string cello, but otherwise the idiom, instrumentation and techniques are tonal and conventional. Those familiar with Giovanni Sollima's music will find similarities here. Baroque forms and structures are widely used, and the overlap of ostinato and minimalism is not infrequently employed. Some movements are very minimalistic, culminating in the tenth, which is extremely Nymanesque; others are quite authentically Baroque-sounding, though the composer enjoys subverting expectations with subtle anachronisms. The nearest to 'volcanic' music in the Romantic sense are a couple of movements (6 and 7) that resemble what the result might have sounded like had Haydn incorporated an 'And God Created Great Volcanoes' movement into The Creation. Difficult to classify, but very enjoyable, original and accomplished. Forma Antiqua; Aarón Zapico.