PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Momentum (Cello Concerto No. 2), ARNE NORDHEIM (1931-2010): Tenebrae for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Amers (Cello Concerto No. 1).
Catalogue Number: 10O076
Reference: ACD 5075
Description: The idea of systems expanding to infinity, fractal-like, has been a theme in Nørgård's work for decades, in one way or another. This classically-structured, four-movement concerto illuminates this concept from a humanistic, or social, viewpoint, so to speak, rather than a technical, compositional-system one. In the first movement, the soloist holds the stage - literally, to start with, and as the orchestra enters, its material is a kind of efflorescence of the cello line. Further dendritic elaboration occurs in successive movements, with duos in dialogue in the second movement, and more complex textures still in the energetic, surprisingly tonal-sounding Prokofiev-like scherzo. The last movement, subtitled 'Infinity' begins in restless energy and resolves into open, static textures. Nordheim's Tenebræ is very much what the title suggests; a work of intense shadows and dark hues, exploring serious existential themes. The music broods, then erupts, then subsides again; idiom is eclectic, with hints of Shostakovich, Mahler and Berg, and occasional wild, highly dissonant chaotic interruptions to the tense, concentrated argument. Saariaho's 'Sea-markers' - buoys, the title borrowed from Saint-John Perse - suggests fluid, sub-marine plays of light and powerful, invisible currents. Luminous textures, enhanced by the immersive spatial effects of electronic sounds, evoke immense spaces, bight surface reflections and mysterious depths. Jakob Kullberg (cello), New Music Orchestra; Szymon Bywalec.