ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL (b.1954): Othello Symphony.
Catalogue Number: 11Q008
Label: Zarathustra Music
Reference: ZM 001
Description: A prolific composer with an extensive résumé of music for stage, screen and concert hall, Goldenthal condensed this bold, colorful seven-movement, 34-minute symphony out of his large, three-act ballet, Othello. Symphonic suite may be a better description; the vivid and energetic music, even without the staged element, clearly has strong programmatic content. The idiom is thoroughly accessible and very tonal apart from a few brief passages, and sumptuously orchestrated, incorporating some unusual sonorities and instrumental effects, for which the composer's film scores are also noted, including the distinctive sound of the glass harmonica in an important role. Stylistically, Goldenthal is a bit of a musical magpie; the distinguishing characteristic of his music may be not so much that he doesn't sound like anybody else as that he sounds like everybody else, seamlessly dovetailed into a grand unified aesthetic that works just as well on a film soundtrack as on the theatrical or operatic stage, as in the concert hall. Prokofiev and Stravinsky are clearly significant influences, but there are many others in this eclectic, larger-than-life mix. AUKSO Orchestra; Marek Mos.