JOHN ROBERTSON (b.1943): Symphony No. 2, Op. 63, Vallarta Suite, Op. 47, Strut In - A March, Op. 34.
Catalogue Number: 08T058
Label: Navona Records
Description: An Australian composer long domiciled in Canada, Robertson pursued his compositional path in parallel with a career outside music, though increasing recent successes have given rise to an opportunity to write larger and more ambitious works. His symphony is a half-hour three-movement work firmly in the Romantic mold, the composer evincing a fondness for soaring themes and thunderous brass-heavy textures that recall Bruckner and Wagner. The first movement is vigorous, with a more relaxed second theme; the slow movement is lyrical and majestic, while the finale is a passacaglia over a stately ground which travels around the orchestra in different guises, decorated in various timbres and textures. The engaging Vallarta Suite is a portrait of the bustling, colorful resort city with its tourists, lively nightlife and the majestic whales that live in the bay, which are portrayed in positively Wagnerian terms. Strut In is a breezy, ebullient march in sonata form. Janaček Philharmonic Orchestra; Anthony Armoré.