MOLLY KIEN (b.1979): Pyramid, Song of Britomartis (w/Laura Stephenson [harp]), Smarginatura.
Catalogue Number: 05S073
Label: db Productions
Reference: dBCD 173
Description: Three attractive and original tone poems from an American living in Sweden which vividly illustrate their extramusical inspirations. Kien employs the resources of a modern idiom to introduce the pieces arrestingly, but then they rapidly assume a richly neo-romantic vocabulary as befits their respective subjects. Pyramid is based on a striking mystical painting by Hilma af Klint, 'Altar Painting No.1’ depicting a triangular shape ascending toward a brilliant golden sun. The piece gathers momentum and rhythm as though in flight toward its heavenly destination. Song of Britomartis refers to an image of the Minoan goddess by Swedish artist Isaac Grünewald, incorporating references to ancient Minoan art. The piece has an extensive concertante harp part which carries much of the musical argument- in fact, a significant part of the work is for the solo instrument. Here the music clearly draws on Impressionism in its depiction of fauns and other mythical creatures. Smarginatura is a term from a novel by Elena Ferrante, signifying a psychological state in which the boundaries of reality become blurred. The piece begins with, and returns to, ominous shifting harmonic masses, interspersed with unsettling episodes of motoric agitation. Västerås Sinfonietta; Eva Ollikainen, Anna-Maria Helsing (Song).