JEFF BEAL (b.1963): House of Cards Symphony, House of Cards Fantasy for Flute and Orchestra, Six Sixteen for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, Canticle for String Orchestra, Flute Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 09U011
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Admirers of the hugely successful Netflix political thriller 'House of Cards' will thrill to hearing the memorable motifs and themes from the soundtrack that has been such an integral part of the series' drama served up in sumptuous orchestral garb. The music is tonal, a thoroughly enjoyable blend of neo-romantic pastiche and elements of Beal's eclectic jazz influences (including his own flugelhorn solos and the incorporation of electric bass and drumkit), with bits of minimalism here and there, and as befits music for a drama about ruthless ambition and the pursuit of power, obsessive, repeated gestures and ostinati are the norm throughout. The ten movements explore motifs associated with characters and narrative episodes from the show, more in the nature of cross-referenced tone poems than a traditional symphonic structure, and the composer is nothing if not generous with his material; the whole lasts 83 minutes. The composer's style is consistent across the concert works; the Flute Concerto is tonal, energetic and rhythmic, with some jazz inflections (the robustly propulsive finale was apparently inspired by a ride in the soloist's Tesla!); Canticle is a meditation over a 7-note ground, and Six Sixteen is a lively concertino with a strong sense of narrative, while the little Fantasy on three themes from the show was written for Bezaly as an encore to the Concerto. 2 CDs. Sharon Bezaly (flute), Jacob Vieaux (guitar), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Jeff Beal.