PEHR HENRIK NORDGREN (1944-2008): Solemnity-Euphony for 19 Strings, Op. 118, PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): Musica appassionata for String Orchestra, ANDERS ELIASSON (b.1947): Sinfonia per archi.
Catalogue Number: 08L099
Reference: ABCD 245
Description: An effective coupling of works broadly born of the same æsthetic principle; rich harmony used in the manner of impasto oil paint; luscious and sumptuous, subject to disturbance by carefully judged conflicts of opposing color in the form of dissonance, but ultimately adding to a satisfyingly consonant composition. Nordgren's work is especially rich of texture, in somber, saturated colors throughout. There are echoes of Sibelius in tender passages of melancholy lyricism, dense clusters that suddenly resolve into glowing chords, and to provide momentum, rhythmically insistent dancing motifs not a world away from a Shostakovich scherzo. The work ends with a coda that quotes Schumann's Traümerei. The Shostakovich of brooding, looming slow movements - is also brought to mind, even more strongly, in Vasks' work. Opening passionately, the music then goes through alternating periods of introspection and agitation with mounting tension before fusing these opposing moods into a final section of affirmation. Eliasson's splendid Sinfonia for strings is in danger of becoming a popular contemporary work- it deserves to - this is its 3rd recording, so if you missed it in December or May, here it is again. Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; Juha Kangas.