AKIRA IFUKUBE (1914-2006): Lauda Concertata for Marimba and Orchestra, EMMANUEL SÉJOURNÉ (b.1961): Concerto for Marimba and Strings, GOTAN - Concerto for 4 Marimbas and Orchestra (The Wave Quartet [marimbas]).
Catalogue Number: 11S057
Reference: GEN 16441
Description: Séjourné's concerti are hugely enjoyable, colorfully extrovert works, tonal, rhythmically vital and thoroughly engaging, both following the traditional three-movement form and acting as virtuoso solo vehicles. The solo concerto lies somewhere between neo-romanticism with echoes of Rachmaninov, the kind of heart-on-sleeve emotionality of expression that one tends to associate with film music, and light or popular styles, especially in the flamenco-inflected, somewhat jazzy finale. A recurring, very Brahmsian phrase features prominently in the lyrical slow movement, while the first movement, written years after the first two, most closely emulates the discursive nature of a romantic concerto. The concerto for marimba quartet is immensely appealing, full of engaging rhythms and lush harmonies. The first movement is based on the tango, and is what Piazzolla would have written had he composed a film score and forsaken his bandoneon for four marimbas. The slow movement, lush and sentimental, is even more closely related to the world of film music, while the rhythmically energetic finale is a piece of synthesized 'world music' with an infectious 'groove'. The concerto by the prolific composer of film scores (including the original Godzilla movies) and much else besides combines a hymn-like orchestral motif and a wild dance initially introduced by the soloist 'to express a primal human nature' as the composer puts it, in a tonal neo-romantic idiom with Eastern inflections. The work follows the classical three-movement form, with cadenzas, played continuously. Bogdan Bácanu (marimba), Romanian National Symphony Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal.