ANDERS ELIASSON (1947-2013): Notturno for Bass Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Senza risposte for Flute and Piano Trio, Fogliame for Piano Quartet, Trio for Violin, Vibraphone and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 04S069
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: These chamber works are very recognisably from the same pen as the remarkable and highly individual larger-scale works we've had occasion to welcome over the past decade or so (12K103, 09N070, 08P001). Eliasson's personal brand of neo-romanticism is very much in evidence here, allied as it is to his unusual and striking harmonic language, a kind of neo-polymodality in which tonal centres seem to float freely, untethered to solid ground. This is especially true of the two most recent works, from 1990 and 2010, though the other two, from the early 1980s, when the composer was just establishing the mature style to which he adhered thereafter, have a similar restless quality, the sense of an unending train of thought. Notturno (1980) is appropriately dark-hued, and notably its phrases seem to flow predominantly downward, suggesting a sense of stifling pressure from which the composer yearned to escape; and "Without Answers" of 1983, a more active work full of the exhilaratingly buoyant whirling that characterises Eliasson's style, seems paradoxically to offer an answer to this oppression of modernity in its final peaceful resolution. The piano quartet "Foliage" is a light-drenched, feverishly effervescent work, intense yet full of affirmative, life-celebrating energy. The piano part takes on an almost concertante rôle at times, with strongly tonal interjections. The late Trio is likewise full of energy, the resonant bell-like chimes of the vibraphone lending the music a sunlit glow. The work subsides into a melancholy, resigned epilogue; the composer only had three years to live, and in retrospect the earlier part of the work is a memory of the improvisatory energy of youth. Norrbotten Neo.